Coming to service
Coming to a church service: what to expect
We are delighted that we can welcome people back into our church for a service of worship, even if it is more restricted than what we are used to. We hope you will enjoy the service and the chance for some fellowship, if only at a distance.
We can only have a limited number of people at a service because we must maintain 2-metre distancing. There are places for 16 individual people, but people who come from the same household may sit together, which will increase the total number we can accommodate.
Before coming to church, you will need to book. Details of how to book will be given in the Order of Service for the Sunday before and also on our church website. Because of the limited numbers, we won’t be able to accommodate you if you haven’t booked. When booking, you will be asked for your contact details for the Scottish Test & Protect scheme.
· At all times, you must keep at least 2 metres away from anyone you don’t live with. It will obviously be tempting to chat to others, but please keep to marked places to wait outside the church and, once inside, please stay in the seat you are given.
· You should bring a mask and should put it on before going into the church. If you forget your mask, please ask an usher, who will be able to give you one. If you are unable to wear a mask for medical reasons, please let the usher know. Otherwise, please keep your mask on throughout the time you are in the church.
· Don’t bring any personal belongings beyond the minimum you need. Anything you do bring you should keep with you at all times.
· Dress for the weather. You may need to wait outside the church for several minutes.
· We have had to remove the pew cushions, so you may find the pews a little uncomfortable for sitting. If you need to, you may bring a small cushion, but please remember that any personal item may be a risk to others, so ensure you keep it with you at all times, ideally in a small bag when not in use.
· The instructions below may sound rather daunting, but there will be ushers to help you when you arrive and when you leave. Please feel free to ask if there is anything you’re not sure of.
Arriving at the church
Please arrive at the church about 10 minutes before the service is due to start.
Please come in through the “hearse” gate, which is a little way further up the road from the main church gates. If there are people ahead of you, please make sure you leave a 2-metre distance, both in the church garden and, if necessary, on the pavement beyond.
If you need special assistance, please tell the usher. If it is appropriate, you may be directed to come through the main church gate and then round the ramp to the side door. In this case, the usher will ask others waiting to stand aside for you.
If you are asked to make way for someone who needs special assistance, please do so carefully, maintaining your 2-metre distance from others.
Remember that you should not mix freely with others while you are waiting. You should follow the government guidance, which for outdoors is that a maximum of six people from no more than two households can meet, with 2-metre distancing at all times. This means you may be able to chat with people in front of you, or behind you, but not both – and you should all stay in your positions.
At the door
An usher will call you forward and will check with you that you are not showing any symptoms and have not been asked to self-isolate for any reason.
If you haven’t already given your contact details, you will be asked to do so for the Scottish Test & Protect scheme. Alternatively, if you have a smartphone, you may be able to use an app called Tap My Data, along with a QR code that is displayed on the notice-board in the vestibule (see below).
The usher will guide you towards the hand sanitiser next to the right-hand door into the sanctuary. We will ask everyone to use the sanitiser before entering the sanctuary.
How to use Tap My Data
You can download this app from Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. You can set up an account on the app, but this is optional. You don’t need an account to use it for church. When you come to church, you can use the app as follows.
- Open the app and click on the QR code icon at the top right of the main app page.
- Point the phone camera at the QR code.
- You will see a page on your phone entitled “Service Check In”.
- The first time you use the QR code in church you will need to enter your name and phone number. This is the only data which will be shared with The Church of Scotland. After the first time, the app will display this automatically.
- Press the blue “Check In” button, located below your displayed data, and the app will send your check-in to the Church of Scotland.
- Click “Continue” to return to the main app page.
Taking your seat
When you enter the sanctuary, an usher will show you where to sit. You will see that there is a one-way system round the church and markings on the floor to help you keep a 2-metre distance from anyone in front of you. Please try to avoid touching pews as you pass them, unless you need some support. You should sit in a marked seat; don’t move along the pew unless you are in a family group.
Once you have taken your seat, you should remain in it. Please do not move around or get up to talk to other people. During the service, you may, of course, stand up for the hymns if you choose.
Leaving the church
At the end of the service, please stay in your seat until an usher asks you to move. You will be directed to leave the sanctuary through the opposite door to the one you went in by and
should then sanitise your hands in the vestibule before leaving the church by the side door.
Again, if you need any special assistance, the usher will help.
Once outside, please keep moving to allow others to exit safely behind you. You should maintain your 2-metre distancing and should not congregate with other people outside the church or on the pavement.
Here is a link to a YouTube video clip of the process explained.