Please note that due to Covid-19 many activities and services listed on the website are not taking place -but we are ready and waiting to re-open activities just as soon as we are allowed to do so. Please revisit this website for the latest information
Ensuring the safety of everyone during this pandemic is our priority.
The procedures and precautions associated with the re-opening of our Churches for Worship are shown below. It was updated 24th July 2020. It will be regularly reviewed and amended as necessary, and will remain available on this Website.
As of 21st July 2020, the Church of England “strongly advises” that face coverings should be worn by all those attending a church for public worship. We will expect those attending our churches to do so. This is out of respect for, and to protect, the other worshippers present. This does not replace or reduce the need to maintain social distancing and to regularly wash / sanitise hands including when entering and leaving the church building.
At our church services, the Priest will wear a face covering whenever in close proximity of others, including during the distribution of communion.
Following the Government announcement that churches can open for worship we are now opening our three churches (St John the Evangelist Littlewick Green; St Mary the Virgin, Hurley; and St James the Less, Stubbings) for Sunday worship.
We would love to see you in church, including families and children - whether you have been a regular worshipper with us in the past or have never been to one of our services. You will be most welcome.
However, we appreciate that some may be self-isolating, in the vulnerable category, or otherwise don’t feel ready to return to worship in church. That is fine, and no-one should feel they ‘ought’ to attend worship when they feel uncomfortable doing so. If you have been advised by Government or medical practitioners to shield, or are in an extremely clinically vulnerable category, then you are currently advised not to attend places of worship – but it is your decision.
Anyone who has been advised by track-and-trace to isolate at home, and anyone with Covid-19 symptoms (a new continuous cough or a high temperature or loss of or change to sense of taste or smell) or living with someone with Covid-19 symptoms should stay at home and MUST NOT enter our church buildings or attend worship, in order to protect others.
What you might like to be aware of
All worship services in each of our churches will be governed by a church-specific Risk Assessment (RA) to ensure we offer the best possible Covid-19 safe environment. We will regularly review and update the RA’s.
Social Distancing Guidelines will be followed in church at all times, meaning that the 2 metre rule will be adhered to wherever possible. People from different households or bubbles will be asked to sit in different pews (and individuals at opposite ends of a pew) with only alternate pews in use. This reduces the seating capacity of our churches, but we believe there will be space for all who wish to come – please be advised by our sidespeople as to the most appropriate place to sit for the service. You will be asked to sanitise your hands when you enter church, and again when you leave.
To assist the Government’s Track and Trace programme, your name and a contact number will be recorded as you enter church. This information will be held for that purpose only, will be kept secure and will be destroyed after 21 days. But it does mean that the NHS has the opportunity to let you know in the event that someone else attending the service is diagnosed with Covid-19.
If the service is a communion service, there will be the opportunity to sanitise your hands immediately before receiving communion. Communion will be distributed in one kind only (ie only the consecrated bread, and not the wine), and the Priest will wear a face mask whilst giving communion. The communion bread will be dropped into your open hands without any physical touching. The Priest will either sanitise hands immediately before distributing communion, or will wear gloves for that part of the service. The sidespeople will invite you forward to receive communion to avoid any congestion, and you will be asked to receive communion standing.
Of course, you do not have to go forward to receive communion at a communion service. Joining in the prayers of the service, listening to the bible readings, and reflecting quietly when communion is distributed are all ways of encountering God. You should not feel the least bit uncomfortable if you wish to attend the service but not receive communion.
For all our services, you will be asked to remain seated during the service to reduce movement (other than when receiving communion). We are not permitted to sing during services, but there will often be music played before, during and after the service. This will be ‘live’ organ music or recorded music. Any service booklets or sheets that you need will be available in the pews; these will have been quarantined in advance of the service, and then only handled (if at all) by people wearing gloves. There will be no collection during the service but there will be a plate at the door and, if possible, a contactless donation point.
At the end of the service, please file out from the back of the church to avoid passing close to others as you move out. Government advises that you do not congregate outside the church after the service, but a socially-distanced ‘hello’ or ‘goodbye’ to your friends might be appropriate. Please respect any who wish to move quickly away without social interaction.
For the time being there will be no refreshments after our services, and no separate Sunday School provision for children. At Littlewick Green and Hurley the toilet in church will be available; unfortunately the toilets at Stubbings will not be available.
If you are not able to attend our worship, rest assured that we will continue to be in contact with you through our weekly email Newsletter and Reflection (if you haven’t been receiving this by email, go to the Home page and click the appropriate link), and everyone in the Parish will be prayed for at each of our services.
Keep safe, and God Bless, Yours in Christ, Revd John Ainslie
We are a Parish in the Deanery of Windsor and Maidenhead within the Diocese of Oxford