The great news is that we are hoping that St Joseph’s Church will be allowed to re-open for individual prayer in the next couple of weeks, although not yet for public services or communal prayer of any kind.
We have to wait for the exact date from the government but we can begin to make the preparations, as laid down by the diocese. When the church re-opens, social distancing and health and safety requirements will need to be strictly observed, so that all are protected from the coronavirus.
What needs to be done whilst the church is open?
Among other things, the following will have to be carried out:
- the marking of places where people may sit in the church
- the direction in which we may move around the church, with floor markings, to keep us at a safe distance from each other
- the regular cleaning and sanitizing of the church
Whenever the church is open we will need a team of at least three stewards on duty. These or other volunteers will also need to do a domestic clean of the church every day, and at more regular intervals any areas of frequent touch.
Who can volunteer?
You can volunteer if you are:
- fit and healthy
- below 70 years of age
You should not volunteer if you:
- are over 70
- have certain pre-existing health conditions
- are self-isolating or shielding
All necessary protective clothing and cleaning materials will be provided.
We need to begin to put together our team of helpers now, so that when the government gives the go-ahead, we shall be in a position to open the church, with a rota already drawn up. It is likely that the church will at first only be open for a short period on allocated days.
We will give all volunteers a rota, and announce on the church door, on the website the times of opening.
How can I sign up?
If you are prepared to help as a volunteer steward and/or cleaner, do please let us know by completing the form below. Please tell us which day(s) of the week you could be a volunteer, whether morning, afternoon or evening, and how long you could stay for – two hours would be very helpful.
With your help, it will be possible from whatever the authorized date is, to open our church for our parishioners and visitors to come and pray individually. If you cannot volunteer to help, do please come and pray in the church, once it is allowed to be open, unless you are one of those asked for health reasons to stay at home.