Dear Church Family,
“I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart. I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love for me.”
Psalm 86 v12
After such a long time apart, I am delighted to write and tell you that Bloomfield will, God willing, resume its morning service at the church on Sunday 16th August 2020, starting at 11.00 am. With our hearts set upon the Lord our inmost desire is to worship the Lord and it be will wonderful to do so in the church.
Over the last number of weeks preparations have been made for worship services at the church. Initially the number of people attending will unfortunately have to be restricted and we will continue to livestream the services so people can also join in worship from home. As I am sure you will appreciate, things will look a little different from how they were before lockdown. This letter aims to guide you through what attending church will look like initially.
Before You Attend Church
It is vital not to attend Church if you, or anyone in your household are feeling unwell or displaying any of the symptoms of COVID-19, including:
• A high temperature
• A new continuous cough
• Loss of, or change in your usual sense of taste or smell
Register in Advance
If you would like to attend our services at the church you will be required to register in advance. The church can only accommodate 80 people due to social distancing constraints and in order to help manage the numbers attending it will be necessary for people to book a place in advance.
If the service is booked up we will offer you an alternative Sunday.
To register please telephone the church office on either a Tuesday or a Thursday morning between 10am and noon. Tel. 028 9047 1103. Alternatively you can e-mail the church office.
For the purpose of contact tracing, at registration your name and telephone number will be taken.
Arriving At The Building
Our morning service will begin at 11 am sharp. Doors will be open from 10.30 am and will be closed shortly after the service begins.
Please use the car parking facilities as normal.
Entrance to the church will be either at the Cyprus Avenue door or the Sunbury in the new halls. The Beersbridge Road doors will only be used for exit, so that there is a one-way system in operation through the church. You will need to observe 2 metre social distancing as you wait to enter the building and markers will be on the ground to help you. At the door, an usher will indicate when you can enter.
When you enter the building, you must sanitise your hands at one of the hand sanitising stations.
In accordance with PCI guidelines, we recommend and encourage you to wear a face covering unless you are exempt from wearing one.
After sanitising your hands, an usher will show you, or your family to a seat. Consistent with the current Social Distancing guidelines, all seating areas are at least 2 metres apart. Please note that you may be unable to sit in your usual position. I trust that you will happily embrace this temporary inconvenience so that we can meet together safely as a Church family once more.
It will take more time than usual to seat everyone downstairs and upstairs, so please do arrive early. Please try to be seated by 10.50 am at the latest.
Once seated, we would ask you to remain in your seat and avoid moving around the Church building for any reason other than an emergency.
If you can avoid using the toilets, please do, as we would prefer if they are only used in an emergency. The disabled toilet on the ground floor of the new halls will be the only toilet open for use. To keep everyone safe you are asked to use the wipes provided to clean any surface you have touched in the toilet after use.
If you are in the sanctuary please exit via the Beersbridge Road doors and walk around the outside of the church to reach the toilet.
The Church Service
The Church service will be shorter than usual, lasting around 45 minutes, and be similar in format to the recent livestreaming service. The music will be pre-recorded and played through the church sound system. Singing is allowed but you should remain seated for the singing and you are encouraged to sing softly.
Children are especially welcome to attend the services with their family. Unfortunately, at this time it will not be possible to have a children’s talk at the front, there will be no separate Kidzone meeting at the church and it will not be possible to run a Creche at the church.
So, children will have to sit in the pews for the full service. Children’s resources will continue to be published weekly on the website and families are welcome to print the worksheets and bring them to the church to be completed in the pews.
Bulletins, Bibles and Hymnary
There will be no paper bulletins, pew Bibles or hymn books available; however, everything needed for the service will be shown on the screens. If you are able to bring a Bible with you please do, but please also remember to take it home at the end of the service.
After The Service
Exiting the building
When the service has ended, please remain in your seats until an usher indicates that you may leave. The exit will be via the Beersbridge doors so a one-way system is maintained. The church will be emptied by the ushers from the back to the front. Please wait patiently until your turn comes and when the usher instructs you to leave, please do so promptly.
For those who wish to make their offering using cash or envelopes, baskets will be available in the vestibule on the way out.
Outside the building
After you leave the building you are free to chat in the car park, but please do so socially distanced and in accordance with government guidelines for meeting friends. Please keep the doorways clear to help others leave and to avoid bottlenecks.
For those of you who choose not to return to Church yet, the service will continue to be available online and via our telephone service. The online Sunday morning service will be a live stream of the service held at the church, so we can all worship together as a family of God.
The Kidzone programme will continue online. A big thankyou to all the leaders who have pulled this material together over the last number of months. I know it has been a blessing to many.
The Sunday evening series of sermons will continue to be available online.
I realise that this letter sounds like a long list of instructions and it is not exactly the welcome back any of us would want. However, we want to minimise the potential risk of spreading COVID-19, and do what we can to keep everyone who comes safe. Thankfully our ultimate security is in the Lord and He is good.
In the coming weeks, whether you come to church or join-in online, can I encourage you to worship God with the joy of the psalmist…
“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.”
– Psalm 100.
May God bless you,
On behalf of Kirk Session’s Committee for Reopening