Important Announcement Regarding the Resumption of Congregational Worship

Please note: this announcement has been updated on the 6th of July, with information concerning Corraneary.

Dear church family,

The sessions of the Bailieborough Group met on the evening of Monday the 29th of June to discuss the resumption of congregational activities and the preparations that would be needed for this to happen.

We have agreed to arrange for the resumption of congregational worship on Sunday 5th July in Corglass  at 10:30 a.m. and Ervey at 12 noon. Due to social distancing restrictions space in each church building is extremely limited and we ask that you only attend the church where you are a member.

Services will be held for Trinity on the 2nd Sunday of the month for the members of these two congregations, commencing on Sunday 12th July.

The kirk session of Corraneary congregation, after assessing the available space in the building, have decided to postpone congregational worship. This decision will be reviewed after restrictions are eased, or at the next scheduled meeting on the 24th of August.

I must stress that this arrangement is only temporary to allow us to get back to church while hopefully keeping the numbers low enough to comply with seating restrictions due to government and denominational guidelines. A review of this arrangement by the elders has been scheduled for the end of August.

To make our services safe we must follow the guidelines issued by the government and PCI until the COVID-19 pandemic has passed. If you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g. a cough, raised temperature) please do not attend church, seek medical advice and isolate.

Keep a safe distance (currently 2 metres) from others before, during and after worship. Please refrain from congregating to chat before or after the services. Please do not make any physical contact with those outside your household (no embracing or handshakes).

Please use hand sanitiser, which will be provided in each church building. You may bring your own hand sanitiser, mask and water for a drink. Masks are not mandatory but are encouraged for the congregation.

To allow for social distancing within the church building, some pews have had to be closed off. As a result, you may not be able to sit in your usual pew at this time. Each family should sit together at a safe distance from other families. The minister will remain in the pulpit for the duration of the service. At the end of the service, you will be ushered out of the church in an orderly fashion. Please follow the instructions given.

Services will be shorter than usual with a reduced number of hymns and the children’s talk included in the sermon. There will be no singing. Music will be played, and you may follow the words on the screen or from your own hymnbook. There will be no Sunday School for the time being. You may bring along a children’s Bible or colouring sheets.

Only one toilet will be available for use. If you do need the toilet, please wipe surfaces you touch, including handles, with wipes provided and place them in the bin provided after use. Young children should be accompanied at all times.

I know this is not the type of service that we are used to. It is not the type of service that we have been missing and longing to get back to. It will be some time before we are back to something resembling the old normality that we miss. We are starting small, but we hope that God will bless us and enable us to grow.

Please note that I will continue to provide the online resources that I have been providing since March. The sermon that I preach in the meeting house each week will also be available at the same time via our church website (www.bgpc.ie). I will also continue to send CDs and sermon scripts to anyone who requests them. I do not want anyone to feel pressured to come and If anyone is at all nervous about attending at the present time that is entirely understandable and I encourage you to stay at home for the time being and avail of these alternative services.

Please see the “Staying Safe at Church” guidance below.

God bless,
Rev. John.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *