We are planning to have the church open for public worship at 11:00am on Sunday, 2nd August. While this is much awaited good news, I am afraid it is not without certain restrictions. A desire to “return to normal” is natural, but not everything of the “old normal’ will be possible at this time. Our task in this moment is to consider the opening of the church to offer a safe environment for worship. While we expect to be able to open the church building for public worship we will continue with our online services as well. This will  continue to be part of our church family life for a time.

We are opening the church following the instructions and guidelines of the Scottish Government and Church of Scotland. As guidelines go they are quite clinical in their wording, and while we want to follow them we also want to assure everyone of a warm welcome at church, however the experience in the present restricted circumstances will not match the encounters of the past.

Who can attend church?

  • In theory all are welcome. We particularly encourage those to come to church who were unable to be part of a worshipping fellowship (virtual or otherwise) during the lockdown. However there are certain necessary restrictions:
    • Those who are shielding, , should follow the Scottish Government’s instructions.
    • If you display symptoms of covid-19 infection, or you are self-isolating because you share a household with someone who has the symptoms, or as a result of contact tracing, you are advised to stay at home.
  • The capacity of our building, observing the required social distancing is only 35.
  • All attending the service need to be registered as part of the contact tracing programme.

What can you expect at church?

  • A welcoming, clean, and safe space for worship.
  • Helpful welcoming team to guide and advise you in the building.
  • Hand sanitisers both as you enter and exit the church.
  • It is recommended that those coming into the building should wear a face covering.
  • Social distancing throughout the building.
  • One way system within the building to avoid physical contact with others.
  • Designated seats at appropriate social distance from each other. Therefore please be aware that you might not be able to sit at your usual seat.
  • Sadly no singing is permitted during worship. We will be able to listen and reflect over recorded praises.
  • For safety reasons the church Bibles are removed, so please bring along your own Bible to follow the readings.
  • The service in church is shared through the internet, by Zoom.
  • Toilet facilities will be available.
  • Sadly no social mingling and sharing of refreshments after the service will be available. 

Please consider prayerfully your return to the church building. We would love you to be there and are looking forward to see you in person, but remember both your and the safety of others are important in these uncertain times. If you are happy to join us over the internet please do so, you will be as much part of the fellowship as if you were there in person.

If you have got any queries or would like more information, please email us at: office@comelybankchurch.com

[from George Vidits, minister, and John Baggaley, Session Clerk]

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