Coronavirus and Emergency Preparedness

At St Mary’s, we are making sure we are properly prepared for any emergencies, in particular Coronavirus (COVID-19).

We are keeping up to date with the Government and the Church of England’s guidance as it is issued, especially in terms of services and pastoral visiting. We want to make sure everyone, especially the most vulnerable, know they can safely and with confidence come to church during this time.

If you sign up for our general mailing list here we will let you know about any last minute changes or emergency plans. We’ll also post on Facebook.

The Church of England is encouraging people to wash hands when they arrive at a church service, and we have facilities available for this. Collection dishes are not being passed around, there will be a plate where you can donate if you would like to. We are encouraged not to shake hands. Regular cleaning is being introduced in line with guidance. We are being very careful around meals and refreshments and following best hygiene practices.

At Holy Communion services, in common with the rest of the Church of England, we are not sharing the sign of peace (hand-shaking). Holy Communion is being offer in the form of bread only (i.e. the chalice is not being shared). The doctrine of concomitance, taught by the church for 1500 years, reassures us we receive the full grace of the Sacrament even if we receive in only one kind. People are asked to receive Communion standing at present.

We will keep all these matters under review and follow best practice and official guidance. We hold in prayer everyone affected by and worried about this virus. Please do be in touch if you have any questions.