The Parish of St. Paul, Oldham
Risk Assessment for Sunday Morning Worship
(Completed by the Risk Assessment Committee: 23 August 2021)
- Aerosol or droplet transmission of Covid-19
- Surface Transmission of Covid-19
- Visitors are unclear on requirements for attending church, or anxious about attending.
- Cleaning the church after known exposure to someone with Coronavirus symptoms
Risk: Aerosol or droplet transmission of Covid-19
- We will leave external doors open as far as possible in the warm weather during services.
- The Sanctuary Windows are currently left open.
- We will acknowledge each other and chat outdoors after the service.
- We will ask people to wear face masks while inside the church
- Social distancing will be maintained; alternate pews are still taped off
- There is a 180cm gap between pews, but people will be facing the same direction, reducing risk of transmission. People should not sit immediately behind each other.
- Each household should be at least 180cm - 200cm apart from any other household, unless they are linked, or choose to sit next to each other.
- We will give special reminders about social distancing as people leave, where large numbers are present
- Current numerical limits are maintained for Sunday Services (75), and life-celebrations (125), where larger families tend to sit together. In practice, the normal congregation is 20-30 people on a Sunday morning.
- We will invite people to sit with others, where this has been arranged before the service.
- Singing arrangements: 2-4 hymns per service and liturgical music with facemasks. (Opening Hymn at Holy Communion; hymn after prayers at Morning Prayer)
- Holy Communion will continue to be administered at the foot of the Chancel steps.
- A single person ticks people in, to reduce handling of pen and paper.
- We continue to engage the children who attend so that they are not restless, but remain in their pew, and so potentially don't transmit the virus.
- Members are ushered to their seats, and up to Holy Communion.
- There is a one-way system in church, indicated by arrows on the carpet.
- REFRESHMENTS: Trial period: people welcome to gather for refreshments in the Community Room, stationary, at tables. Masks on while walking around. Biscuits strictly in wrappers. Cups and saucers out on tables in advance. Tea and Coffee to be served at people's tables. Milk available in jugs with lid / bottles.
- SUNDAY SCHOOL: hands to be sterilised on the way in. No masks, in small groups, from September, children to return to families in church as before, but slowly; hands to be sterilised on the way into church. Separate tables and chairs to be used. Leaders to put out new tables with sterilised hands at the end.
- CHILDREN'S BAGS: Not to be shared with other families.
- TOILETS: to be re-opened.
Risk: Surface Transmission of Covid-19
- Hand sanitiser is available (a) at the entrance to the porch; (b) at the entrance to the church; (c) as people go up for Holy Communion; (d) at entrance to the toilets. People are encouraged to use it.
- Holy Communion is offered every other week.
- Communion wine is not offered at the moment. We will discuss this again if/when infections drop below 100 per 100,000 in Oldham.
- Any Communion bread is prepared only by the priest; covered with a cloth while the priest is speaking; and administered by the priest non-verbally with sanitised hands
- Holy Communion is adminstered at the foot of the Chancel steps, not at the altar rail, to prevent contact with others.
- Doors will be left open, so people do not need to touch the handles.
- Liturgy is available (a) on the screen; (b) in Service books that have not been used for at least 72 hours.
- Cleaning takes place every month.
- Very few items are shared between different people. Only on the Lectern.
- Children's toys are not available.
- In the toilets, an adequate supply of soap and disposable hand towels, and a bin for towels, are available.
- All waste receptacles have disposable liners.
- Litter picks are used for picking up litter.
- High-contact surfaces will be sanitised before/during the services.
- Non-contact sharing of the peace will continue.
Risk: Visitors are unclear on requirements for attending church or visiting the building for other purposes, or anxious about attending.
- We display an NHS Track and Trace QR code, with an alternative option for those who cannot use that system. And encourage visitors to use one or other of these options. Details on Track and Trace
- We communicate requirements and expectations via the Church Website, especially when they change.
- We provide detailed welcoming notices that outline safety measures.
- No booking system is required
Risk: Cleaning the church after known exposure to someone with Coronavirus symptoms
- If possible we will close the church building for 72 hours with no access permitted.
- If 72-hour closure is not possible then we will follow Public Health England guidance on cleaning in non-healthcare settings .
- If the building has been quarantined for 72 hours, then carry out cleaning as per the normal advice on cleaning .