Many of our congregations will already be thinking about what their Christmas services will look like this year.
If you are planning on holding a Christmas service in your church there are a few reminders the District Office would like you to think about:
- How many people can you safely accommodate according to your COVID plan? Do you think you may have more people than this attend Christmas services? Do you need to think about people pre-booking to ensure you don’t have to turn people away? How do you manage this for visitors?
- Perhaps move the service outdoors into the carpark. Social distancing will need to be maintained but this might allow more people to attend.
- Do you normally serve food and drink before or after services at Christmas? If yes, please remember that you will need to do this according to current government advice.
- Many congregations have wondered if it is safe to sing in a regular worship service, let alone with additional people at a Christmas service. Recent government advice tells us that the risk of spreading diseases is lower in an outdoor setting than indoors, but they have not prohibited the actual singing.
- If you have a choir or similar who will be performing, they will need to ensure that are able to socially distance. If you have a band or musicians playing they will also need to make sure of this.
- If you have the ability to livestream your services, this can be a wonderful way of sharing the story of Christmas with your community. Don’t forget to advertise the link to be able to view the service, perhaps with a small ad in your local school newsletter, social media advertising on your community pages, your local library or even your council website on their ‘what’s happening’ page.
- Perhaps this is the year to think completely outside the square about how you will celebrate the birth of Christ with your congregation and community. This is the chance to try something different.
If you have any questions about your Christmas service or need some advice on how you can safely accommodate people to be able to share this time with them, please contact the staff at the District Office. We are very happy to have a chat with you about this.
Please also send any service details to Jessica Smith (email@example.com) and we can promote through our website, social media and eNews.
What to do with your contact tracing records
All congregations will have been getting members to sign in when they attend worship services or events at your church premises. But what do you do with those records?
All contact tracing sheets MUST be retained by the church office in a secure location for a minimum of 28 days.
After 40 days, these records must be securely destroyed as they contain personal information about attendees. You can either organise for these to be shredded or if you have access to a secure document destruction bin please use this. Please don’t just place the forms in the recycling bin as this is not secure.
This is in line with government privacy laws.
If you have any questions please contact the District Office.
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