Coming out of lockdown

It has been wonderful to be able to meet and worship together once again, so we wanted to take this opportunity to let you know how we see things changing over the months ahead (this is, of course, dependent on the national situation, as well as on the availability of our volunteers).

August and beyond…

The government’s final easing of lockdown measures in England has meant changes to the way we do things here at St Stephen’s, most notably to our services.

In light of the current information available to us and in order to keep you and others safe, we will:

  • Continue to have a booking system for all those coming to church. Please book in online on our services page – or if you forget we will have ‘track and trace’ forms available in church; we will no longer have a seating plan
  • Provide more space between seats and rows than pre-Covid, but also have a section where seats are more spaced out
  • Continue to livestream our services via our YouTube channel . For those who do not wish to appear ‘on camera’, please sit in the seating areas on the far left or far right of the church or in the back half of the central aisles where you will be invisible to the cameras
  • Ensure the church is well ventilated
  • Continue to provide hand sanitiser stations at the entry and exit points within the church
  • Continue to serve refreshments in the church garden; please bring your own cup. Our church family after-service coffee on Zoom also will continue

Can we please ask you to be considerate of others by:

  • Continuing to wear face masks, particularly while singing
  • Considering taking a lateral flow test prior to coming to Sunday services, and of course we would ask that anyone who tests positive or is feeling unwell with Covid symptoms does not come to church
  • Showing caution in keeping your distance
  • Not hugging others or shaking their hands unless you have first checked that the other person is comfortable with you doing so

Coming out of lockdown is a big change for everyone so please get in touch if you have any concerns or would like to discuss our plans at any time. We are mindful that all of us are facing the easing of restrictions with different feelings, hopes and fears, so we will try to take into account everyone’s views and make adjustments, wherever possible.

Summer at St Stephen’s

Throughout August our 10.30am services will continue, but with a few differences. Our services will be shorter and family-friendly. We also hope to be able to offer some after-service fun for children in the church garden; and we are planning a picnic in the park. Our picnic is planned for 15th August, so we hope you have this date in your diary. Meanwhile, on the day of the picnic we will have a simple service in church for anyone who is unable to join us in the park.

During August, a light breakfast will be served before services, from 9.30am (except for 15th August). Find out more by visiting our Summer at St Stephen’s page.

From Sunday 12th September

From this date we are hoping to be able to restart groups on Sunday mornings for our youth and children.

Additional services

Before lockdown began we were running three services each Sunday (9am, 10.30am and 6.30pm) and a midweek service (10am on Wednesdays). Our leadership team are looking at when we restart additional services, but we want to keep everyone safe and we want to look after our volunteers and staff team, so we will be doing this gradually. More information to follow.

Please click here to visit our services page to book in to forthcoming services.

With love from Mark and the staff team