Sunday Worship in Church
Due to the current coronavirus situation in London, we have made the difficult decision not to hold in person services in church at the moment. Demand for spaces at services has been low and we want to be careful to protect one another as much as possible. In the meantime, church is still alive and active even if we aren't meeting in person, and Sunday services will continue online. We will continue to monitor the situation and make appropriate steps forward, but we will be running services online only until 14 February and we will be reviewing the situation regularly.
Please note: Our first priority is the safety of our congregation, visitors, staff and volunteers and we have put measures in place to comply with current government and Church of England guidelines. Nonetheless, the risk of transmission of Covid-19 cannot be entirely eliminated and everyone present at the Sunday Service must work together to ensure as safe an environment as possible. We encourage you to make your own assessment of the risk and in deciding whether or not to attend, to make the best decision for your household, ‘social bubble’ and situation.
This short video will tell you what to expect when you come to a service at HTR at the moment:
Do I need a ticket?
The current regulations for public worship mean that we have limited numbers at each of our services. For this reason we do ask you to book a place in advance. If you have any problems with booking online do give us a call on 0208 404 1112. While you can turn up on the day, there is no guarantee of a space and you will have to wait and will only be admitted if we have space.
What should I expect?
Doors will open 15 minutes before the start of the service and we recommend you arrive during that 15 minute time slot. You may need to queue to get in and adhere to 2m distancing while you do so.
Once you enter the building you will be greeted and your attendance recorded. You will also be directed to use hand sanitiser or to wash your hands. Once you have done so, you will be directed to your seat. A one-way system will be in operation to reduce contact.
During the service you will be sat in socially distant seating unless in an authorised 'bubble'. Unfortunately we are currently unable to sing together as a church but we will be exploring ways to engage in music and worship as well as prayer, readings and reflection.
At the end of the service, you will be directed out of the church building in a staggered way to avoid everyone leaving at once.
What about masks?
The government has made face coverings mandatory in indoor spaces, such as churches, and so you will need to wear one when you come to a service. As you will be aware, face coverings mainly protect other people, and not primarily the wearer, from coronavirus, so they are a way for us to serve one another if we can. They are also not a replacement for the physical distancing and regular hand washing that we need to have in place.
Can I chat after the service?
Sadly we are not able to offer a social time at the end of the service as we usually do. You are, of course, welcome to organise to see others after the service has finished but you will need to do that once you have left the church premises.
What should I bring to the service?
Please feel free to bring a Bible as we are unable to give Bibles out at present. You may want to bring a bottle of water or something similar as refreshments are not available.
What about the toilets?
The toilets will be in use while the building is open. However, we need to limit the numbers using the toilets at any given time, so it will help us if you plan not to use the toilets while at church if at all possible!
What is happening with cleaning?
The church will be cleaned regularly during the week and any surfaces or items that might be touched will be sanitised as needed.
What should I do if I feel ill?
If you have any symptoms of Covid-19, or have a positive diagnosis, we do ask that you stay at home and don't come to the church building. There will be a service online every Sunday which you can take part in at home. Full details are available at htrichmond.org.uk/worshipathome
What about communion?
We are offering communion services as part of our morning service routine, on the first and third Sundays of the month. At present, communion will be offered in one kind (bread) only. During the service you will be directed about how to come and receive communion, which we will do in the safest way we can. You are welcome to come to a communion service but not receive communion if you wish.
What about prayer ministry?
We will not be offering prayer ministry in the usual way of inviting people to the front to be prayed for at present. However the Holy Spirit is still powerful and active and we would encourage you to respond to the work of the Spirit personally where you are seated.
What about Track and Trace?
We will be collecting a small amount of information from you when you book online to enable us to engage with the NHS Track and Trace system. This information will be stored for 21 days and then destroyed. Please see our privacy notice
for more information on this.
What about children and young people?
Children and young people are welcome at our services but they will need to stay with their parents/carers at all times. Children should be booked in via the online booking process. We are looking into ways to restart our children and young people's groups but at present we are not in a position to run these.