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Step Four ‘Roadmap out of Lockdown’ and the 

Barrow and Wolds Group of Churches.

(From Monday 19th July 2021)

As you will all be aware the UK Government has withdrawn the legal requirements in England around Coronavirus measures from Monday 19th July. Responsibility for our behaviour and the safety of all passes to us as a group of churches and as individuals. We are guided in this by the national church, our local leadership team and by our Christian faith. St Paul writes to the Philippians; “Look out for one another's interests, not just for your own. The attitude you should have is the one that Christ Jesus had.” (Philippians 2:4-5)

As such, whilst facemasks are no longer mandatory, we ask you to continue to wear them especially when moving around the building for the protection of all our congregations. Likewise, we will reduce our social distancing signage but continue to keep some pews cordoned off for the time being to encourage social distancing. (Though not during weddings, funerals and baptisms.) We ask you to continue to make space for one another, and particularly to respect the wishes of others. We will no longer implement a one-way system, but please continue to avoid congregating in the aisles.

Keeping some pews closed will help with the re-introduction of singing, and we know that many of you will be pleased to hear that we will return to congregational singing of hymns from Sunday 25th July. 

We will continue to make hand sanitiser available at the door, along with the NHS App QR Code, and a paper track and trace form. We encourage you to use the sanitiser and complete track and trace for yourselves by either of these means.

From Sunday 25th July we will have a collection on arrival instead of passing a plate during the service, this will be bought up during the offertory hymn and blessed. 

There will be no change to our current practice for the Eucharist (Holy Communion) the congregation will continue to receive in one kind only, maintaining social distancing and wearing a facemask when coming forward.

We understand that there will be mixed feeling among our congregations about the changing restrictions, please be assured that your wellbeing is at the heart of our decision making. We will continue to keep our plans under review as necessary. If you would like to discuss any of this, please feel free to contact one of the clergy or members of the leadership team. We urge you to continue to pray for our churches and all in our congregations as we navigate how we can best live with this virus. 

Rev’d Clive Watts and Rev’d Fiona Cotton-Betteridge

17th July 2021