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COVID – old

Covid Regulations for Attending Divine Service

Dear brothers and sisters

You would have seen our Chief Apostle YouTube service (YouTube) and would have noticed that there are some unique differences to what we have been used to in the past, when attending a divine service. There are valid reasons for this as we will be taking a cautious approach aimed at maximising your safety. We are also aligning our arrangements with current government guidance.

Please note that these rules are true as of today 8, March 2021 and are subject to change in line with future government guidance updates.

The following 6 safety aspects will need to be in place, and managed locally, before any of our churches are able to open for divine services are as follows:

  • Building Prep: Our buildings will need to have been visited by the necessary contractors so that they are declared fit for use. We also want to have completed risk assessments for fire prevention, health & safety and Covid 19 readiness, and have ensured that the necessary remedial actions are in place.
  • There needs to be a minister who is available to hold services in the location. This cannot be guaranteed as some of our ministers may be ill, shielding or caring for someone in their household who is shielding.
  • There needs to be a competent volunteer who is willing to be trained to act as the Covid Marshall to manage the Covid 19 safety protocols and membership registrations at the church location.
  • There needs to be a volunteer sanitisation team who are willing to be trained to carry out vital before – and after service sanitisation cleaning and hall setup.
  • Members need to pre-register to attend service on any given Sunday so that the hall seating can be prepared. Given current social distancing restrictions, usual attendance will be much reduced. Members will need to register early so that the hall can be set up in time. Members must also be aware that there are important safety rules that will need to be adhered to, of which I will speak shortly.
  • Local Covid 19 regulations may well change and need to be adhered to. It is the responsibility of the local brethren to be self-informed with local regulations and act accordingly.

Now I’m going to share with you the safety rules that will apply when we are attending service in person at our locations.

The success of our plans to open our churches are very much reliant on all of us at congregational level heeding these rules.

Face Coverings

Congregants will be required to wear a face covering which they havebrought themselves, for the duration of the event.  Members who are exempt from wearing face coverings are asked not to attend in personbut rather to follow the services online.

Registration of Attendance

Congregants will be required to pre-register their wish to attend.  This will need to be done in good time before the divine service so that seating can be arranged for you.  Congregants need to be aware that thechurch will need to hold their household’s data for the purpose of track and trace.

While restrictions remain in place, members are asked to follow the services online that, if

  1. They have been diagnosed with Covid-19 within the past 14 days;
  2. Have had contact with someone with Covid-19 in the past 14 days;
  3. Or have any other reservations that would affect their safety or the safety of those around them.

Upon entering the hall, congregants will be required to scan the QR code provided to register on the NHS track and trace App.

Social Distancing Arrangements

Congregants will be expected to follow social distancing rules at all times, meaning:

  1. WE will maintain the designated social distance.
  2. We will follow the guidance of Covid safety personnel and take heed of signposted instructions when entering and exiting the building.
  3. We will refrain from greeting others with a handshake / hug.
  4. We will seat ourselves in the designated seat provided.
  5. Parents or guardians will accept responsibility for theirdependants in maintaining social distancing rules.  Please note, there will be no children’s teaching classes active at our locations.

Hygiene Arrangements

Congregants will be asked to observe all rules related to hygiene, and if a parent or guardian, will accept responsibility for their dependants in maintaining hygiene rules:

  1. Prior to entering and leaving the main hall, we will apply hand-sanitiser at the sanitiser station.
  2. We will disinfect our hands, prior to – and after use of toilets.
  3. We will observe that only one person/family at a time uses the toilets.
  4. After use of toilet facilities, we will disinfect toilet surfaces with anti-bacterial wipes provided and discard in the bin provided.
  5. We want to thank all for your faithful offerings.  Please continue to offer using the current means.  For hygiene purposes, offertory boxes will not be made available for cash or cheque offerings.

Divine Service Participation

During the divine service

  1. we agree to refrain from singing (including the 3-fold ‘Amen’).
  2. we agree to observe the restrictions on music performances and if we wish to follow the words of the hymn, we will bring my own hymn book.
  3. we agree not to pray the Lord’s prayer nor will we pronounce ‘amen’ out loud.
  4. we agree to continue to wear a face covering throughout the service.
    When receiving Holy Communion, we agree to stand at our seat with our face covering on and, upon receipt to refrain from pronouncing ‘Amen’.  Once seated our face covering can be shifted and the wafer consumed.

Congregants are asked to leave the church building promptly at the end of the service and are asked not to use fellowship facilities, or linger in the car park.  This will give time for the sanitisation teams to carry out a clean down of the church space.

I thank you in anticipation for your patient willingness to abide by these regulations.

Yours in Faith

Craig Esterhuizen


link to the presentation: DH presentation phased opening