Updated 10th November 2020, 10.45am
(Updated guidance following recent governmental guidance changes)
St. Stephen’s, together with all churches, were closed to members of the public and clergy in March 2020 as a result of COViD-19. Since then, measures have been eased that first allowed the clergy to live-stream services from within the church building, and more recently to allow individuals into church for private prayer.
On June 23rd 2020, the government announced that services could begin again after July 4th 2020, and on Sunday 12th July we were delighted to welcome our first modest congregation into the church for the 11am Sunday Communion service.
Following the recent change of restrictions in England, churches are now unable to welcome gathered congregations to ‘routine’ services, although funerals remain permitted. These restrictions are expected to last until early December
For advice to churches from the Church of England, follow this link
For advice from Public Health England, follow this link
Until guided to do otherwise, or until it becomes possible to do otherwise we are taking the following ongoing measures:
- Funerals are permitted inside St Stephen’s subject to PHE and government guidance about social distancing, and to a maximum number of attendees of 27.
- All members of staff are working remotely and cannot carry out home visits, except for clergy undertaking Ministries at the End of Life [Last Rites]
- The Parish Office is open from on a part-time basis (please visit www.whittonchurch.com/calendar for the Parish Administrator’s hours).
- Gathered meetings in the parish have been suspended, replaced instead with ‘virtual’ meetings online.
- The PHE guidance for social-distancing and advice on sanitising is being observed.
- On August 9th 2020 the Church of England, in line with renewed Government guidance, regard the wearing of face-masks in church as compulsory (barring cases of acknowledged medical exception)
- Public worship on Sundays and other days is broadcast by live-streamed services available on the Parish Facebook Pages [St Stephen’s or Ss Philip & James].
- The church building is open for private prayer on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays (during daylight hours).
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