27th January 2022
Although the government has relaxed the rules considerably, we will being keeping to the guidance we set out earlier to help keep people safe. Please wear a face mask in church, including when singing, unless you are medically exempt. People may remove their mask when leading worship.
Hand washing and social distancing are still advised in church and in the hall. Hand sanitiser is provided at the entrances.
The toilets have been opened as more groups are using the hall. Groups are reminded to clean the wash basins and toilets after their meetings using the disinfectant and paper towels provided.
Children’s Parties are now allowed. Contact Dorothy Graham to book the hall.
The latest guidance on worshipping safely follows.
REMEMBER TO BE CAUTIOUS!
27th January 2022 Although rules have been relaxed from today, St Andrew's is keeping the regulations set out below to help keep people safe.
- Please ENTER the church building by the FRONT DOOR ONLY.
- You do not need to wear a face mask in the church garden/car park but you MUST have your mask on to enter the building. Please keep your face covering on throughout the service.
- You will be welcomed by a door steward who will encourage you to sanitise your hands. Please greet the door steward quickly and move straight through to the seating area. Do not linger in the porch area and block up the entrance.
- There will be a collection plate just inside the inner door. Please place your offertory envelope or cash in the plate as you enter. It will be watched for security reasons and brought forward for blessing during the service.
- Please do not shake hands with your friends – even if you have not seen them for months!
- Avoid moving around the building/seating area to chat to your friends, however tempting this may be!
- Your will be given a printed Order of Service on arrival. After the service please take it home or put in the recycling bin on the way out.
- A Duty Elder will welcome the congregation and minister at the start of the service and give notices at the end.
- We can now sing hymns during the service and use the hymn books and Bibles in the chairs.
- The service will last about one hour.
- There will be no refreshments following the service.
- If you want to chat to your friends after the service then please move away from the building – do not crowd around the doorways.
Elders reviewed the situation in early September and have agreed some slight relaxation of the rules. They remind everyone that the situation is still uncertain and continuing to cause anxiety so we should not only make minor changes. We are meeting in church for worship at 11.00am each Sunday. Masks, hand sanitising and social distancing are still necessary. Hymn singing is now allowed, but with face coverings on. You will have to let Liz Sharples know if you are coming. You can find her details under 'Contact Us'. Sadly we still cannot serve tea and coffee after worship but you can gather in small groups (not more than 6) in the church garden for a chat.
Most hall user groups have returned, although some had decided to close. A few resumed in June, others in September. Contact your group leader for the latest information. See Coronavirus Updates for more details.
The church returned to full lockdown. We ran Zoom services and all group meetings were cancelled.
We are allowed to worship at church again! A well attended service this morning, 6th December, celebrated the second Sunday in Advent. Advent candles were lit and we reflected on the theme ‘From darkness to light’ in words and music.
Christmas cards are being delivered to all the houses in the area, assuring people that St Andrew’s is still here and encouraging people to let us know if they need our prayers. At the end of November a collection for the Food Bank yielded a good supply of basic foods and some treats which will be made available to individuals and families in financial difficulties this Christmas.
We will continue to worship in church each Sunday in Advent and on Christmas Day (but not on 27th December)
St Andrew’s meets as usual at 11.00am for worship on Sundays, as permitted for churches in Tier 2 areas. The congregation are reminded to wear masks, keep social distance and sign in with the NHS Covid 19 app at the door on arrival. Do not mix with people who are not part of your own household or support bubble before or after worship. You can meet in the garden so long as there are not more than six people in a group. No one need feel pressured to attend worship. If you feel unsafe we understand and support your preference to stay home.
Elders are reviewing the Covid 19 situation and the government’s advice weekly and will seek to ensure everyone using the premises remains safe. If Chesterfield moves into Tier 3 we will check the guidance and take a decision on whether it is safe to continue worshipping. If it is necessary to close again, we will do so and try to let everyone know.
Sunday Worship restarts
36 adults and children shared in socially distanced worship on Sunday 27th September when Sue Powell led a harvest festival service. Seating was spread around the church and on the balcony. This is the maximum number the church can hold under the present restrictions. Please let your pastoral carer or the church secretary know if you are planning to attend one of our services.
Remember to scan the NHS QR code on the door as you enter, wear your mask and sterilise your hands.
St Andrew’s plans to re-open for worship on the Harvest weekend of 26th- 27th September
Foodbank Collection 11.00am – 1.00pm on Saturday 26th September
Please bring your gifts for the Chesterfield Food bank and have a cup of tea or coffee in the garden. Spread out your arrival time, keep socially distanced and try not to stay more than half an hour. If you go inside, wear a face mask. Although churches and their gardens and grounds are exempt from the ‘Rule of Six’, we still advise you not to gather in groups of more than six people.
Items requested by the Food Bank are:Long Life Fruit Juice; Tinned Fruit; Rice Pudding; Tinned Vegetables; Biscuits; Tinned Meat; Tinned Tomatoes. Harvest Service11.00am Sunday 27th September Leader: Revd Sue Powell. The service will last not more than 45 minutes, there will be no singing, but Margaret has agreed to come and play some hymns on the piano for the congregation to listen to. The chairs have been spaced out, although families can sit together. Some people may need to sit in the gallery. Enter through the front door and leave by the side or back door.Sanitise your hands on arrival andwear a face mask throughout the service. There will be a plate for your offertory as you leave. There will beno refreshments. When you leave, stay socially distanced when you greet friends, and do not gather in groups of more than six people.
If you intend to come to worship on 27th and have not already been asked, please let your Pastoral Carer or LIz know. We have to limit numbers. We hope to continue to worship every Sunday in this limited way. Elders will review the arrangements regularly in the light of government guidance.
Detailed guidance for worshipping safely can be found on the front page of the St Andrew’s Section.
Groups starting again
Slimming World, the Community Youth Theatre Group and one badminton group have started to meet again, but with restrictions in place. They have all completed their risk assessments and these have been checked against the church’s risk assessment. The Scouts have also completed their risk assessment and hope to agree a date to start soon. Government guidance means that Jelly Beans, our Mother and Toddler Group, cannot restart. The Indoor Bowls Group have disbanded, as they decided their members were all too old and vulnerable to continue. The other badminton groups may restart, but need to keep numbers to 6.
Keeping in touch
The church building is closed but St Andrew’s church as people is alive! Find out what we doing.
We have held two socially distanced collections for the Food Bank. A great collection of food items was donated both times and welcomed by the organisers. Most recently on18thJuly, we also served coffee and tea on the lawn under the trees and people gladly caught up with each other.
Liz, Mike and Janet have conducted a risk assessment of the premises which has been considered by elders. They have placed the chairs in the sanctuary at 2metresdistanceand it seems we could accommodate up to30 people. However the prevalence of virus and the vulnerability of many members led Elders to decide that we should not reopen in July or August. We will bring Emma back from furlough at the end of July and she has agreed to give the premises a deep clean during August. As indicated by the risk assessment we will be installing hand santisers, warning posters and other safety measures with a view to re-opening in September. The URC has advised everyone attending church services to wear face masks as far as possible.
Patrick thanks the many people who have change to donating through standing orders directly into the church bank account and others who are filling and saving up their envelopes week by week to give in when they are able. Through your faithful giving we remain able to pay our monthly contribution to the URC Ministry and Mission Fund and to meet the bills which come in.
All our Pastoral Carers are keeping in touch with everyone on their list, checking how they are and whether they need any help. Some of our younger members are willing to help with shopping or collecting prescriptions for older members who are confined to their homes. We hear of people getting out for short walks or doing their gardens as we enjoy the coming of spring. Liz and the Elders are circulating a letter of news and reflective material every three weeks or so. We encourage members to join in worship broadcast on TV or radio or the services led by URC ministers which can be accessed through the URC Daily Devotions.
Although we cannot be together physically, we can pray for each other and share in worship.We know that in his suffering, death and Resurrection Jesus Christ walks with us through this darktime.
FOLLOWING THE PRIME MINISTER’S STATEMENT TODAY ALL SERVICES,MEETINGS AND EVENTSAT ST ANDREW’S CHURCH and at HOLYMOORSIDECHURCHARE CANCELLEDFOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTUREBECAUSE OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC.
Elders have taken this decision particularly to protect the older members of our congregation. No one should feel obliged to go to church and put their own health or that of others at risk. We know you will miss the time of worship together so we urge people to follow the URC Daily Devotions and the Sunday service they will be providing each week. You will be in company with 3000 others who follow the Daily Devotions day by day. Pastoral Carers will keep in touch by phone with the people in their groups. Please don’t hesitate to contact them if you feel in need of support, or simply a chat.
Even though we cannot meet, we have on-going financial commitments, not least our Ministry and Mission Fund contribution which help to pay the URC ministers. Please continue your giving, either by setting up a Standing Order to the church or by filling your envelope with the contribution you would normally make and give it to the church when possible. Details for Standing Order scan be obtained from Patrick Lidgett or Liz Sharples at St Andrew’s.