covid-19-risk-assessment-v3 11.09.2020

Sprowston Methodist Church – Covid 19 Action Procedures
Initial Issue Dated 21/10/2020

This Procedure has been created using ‘The Methodist Church – Guide to Using Your Worship Space’ available on the Methodist Church website:

The Procedure is to be reviewed and recorded (Appendix A – Procedure Review & Risk Assessment) at during the regular Leadership Zoom meetings and amended as required.

Section 1 – Facilitate Worship / Prayer

  • Preparation

Doors and windows are to be open before, during and after the service where practicable, Steward controlled. Fire Safety and Safeguarding should be taken into consideration. The Stewards will ensure that all doors and windows are closed before securing and locking the building.

 1.2          Entering and Leaving the Worship Area, Hall or Wesley Suite

The Worship Area has Steward controlled entrance to ensure maintain social distancing and monitor numbers using a one way system with a central aisle to the seating areas. Steward to escort worshippers to their seats, while the next worshippers are queueing at the door, with the Steward maintaining social distancing.

On exit at end of service the worshippers will leave one row at a time from the front via the designated exit door and from the rear via the main entrance. Supervised by Stewards.

The Hall is used as overflow from worship area (visual and audio feed from Worship Area) with Steward controlled entrance after worship area is full. Steward supervised exit, one row at a time to signed exit points.

The Prayer Room, having both audio and visual from Worship Area, is dedicated for a family bubble, or as an isolation room if required. Steward to control usage.
The Prayer Room is fully sanitised for once-only use. Room use and cleaning log is to be completed by user/cleaner (Appendix D – Log of Room Usage)

The Wesley Suite is used for 7pm worship, thus ensuring the main worship area or hall are not reused the same day. Steward controlled entry at 1st door, with Steward controlled exit after worship.

The Steward is to ensure the screened lectern is at front of the room and is to close off the rear section (storage area) with window-side folding door, while maintaining safe access to Fire Exit.

1.3          Test and Trace

The NHS Test and Trace register (Appendix B, Track & Trace – Building Entry Log) is to be updated and produced by the Pastoral Secretary or nominated Steward for each in-house event. The register is to include all known members and adherents.

The Steward situated before the entrance to the worship areas is to record all attendees. The test and trace register station is to display signage and communication of purpose. Visitor’s names and contact details (telephone number) are to be added to the list. The register is retained onsite in COVID file for 21 days then securely shredded.

Note Visitors using the NHS QR Code (displayed at building entrance) and NHS Covid-19 App are not required to register.

1.4          Face Covering

The wearing of face coverings upon arrival and inside the building is mandatory. Face coverings are available for anyone who does not have one. Stewards to wear full face visors to enable clear communication and protection.

1.5          Face Covering Exemptions

Exception given for attendees exempt from mandatory mask wearing and seated with 2m distancing.

Those leading a service in a place of worship as well as volunteers who are assisting with activities such as reading, preaching or leading prayer do not need to wear a face covering when performing those aspects of the service. However, a face covering should be worn when social distancing cannot be maintained and when distributing communion or other consumables.

1.6          Collection & Donations Box
The collection box is situated just inside entrance to building. Box to be emptied into cloth cash bag by a gloved Steward and locked in the cupboard in the Minister’s office for 72 hours minimum before counting. Minister’s office and cupboard is accessed by registered key holders only.

1.7          Hand Sanitisers

There are Steward controlled hand sanitation stations at entrance and exits.

1.8          Services

The Steward’s prayer with the minister/preacher to take place in the worship room.

Scripture readings will be from the pulpit or lectern.

To limit the length of time people are sat together, it is advisable that services are adapted to be undertaken in the shortest reasonable time – a suggested maximum of 30 – 45 minutes should be considered.

1.9          Holy Communion

The elements are delivered and used as directed by the Minister and Stewards. The congregation will remain seated.  For the Holy Communion procedure see Appendix F – Holy Communion.

1.10        Illness

If somebody should be taken ill during a service, COVID must be presumed. The person will remain in their seat and a blessing given to the congregation. Instructions to get tested will be given and the Stewards are to ensure that the building is safely cleared of all but essential persons.

Should someone test positive for Covid-19 when in the building the NHS Test and Trace service are to be informed.  Refer to the Places of Worship Action Card .

1.11        Notice Sheets

Printed notices handed out by a gloved Steward. Notices are sealed in two bags by the copy person 72hrs before service and not touched until distributed.

1.12        Audio/Visual System

Computer/sound/video camera operated by hand sanitised users and left for 72 hours before next use, or anti-bacteria cleaned if being re-used sooner. Anti-bacteria wipes/spray and hand sanitiser on kept on system desk.

1.13        Music and Singing – Allowed

Individual singing and singing groups of no more than 6 people is allowed. The playing of musical instruments (including wind instruments), as part of a worship group or similar is allowed.

All musicians/singers will play/sing from the dedicated space in front of the communion rail. The front row of chairs on both sides of the aisle is limited to use by the musicians and their family only, and is labelled as such.

Equipment to be set up and taken down by musician(s)/singer(s).

1.13        Music and Singing – Not Allowed

The following are not allowed: Congregational singing, shouting or raising voices; Congregational playing of musical instruments that are blown into.

1.14        Health and Safety

A Steward positioned at front and back of the room(s) in use by multiple bubbles during service to watch for coughing/sneezing. Steward to provide and dispose of tissues as required, using gloves. Open top bin with bin bag available for non-contact disposal.
The Steward will provide bottled water as required, using gloves.
Worshippers advised to raise their hand if they need to leave their seat for any reason and Steward will attend.

1.15        Ablutions

The Stewards are to check liquid soap supplies and paper towel supplies before every service.
The main doors to Gents and Ladies toilets are left open, one cubicle available in each facility. The Stewards control a one in one out system for toilets. The Disabled and Ministers are single occupancy only.
Duty Steward is to clean all touch points between uses. The signs on the doors to indicate ‘clean’ or ‘used’. See Appendix E- Toilet Cleaning Log.

Section 2 – Cleaning

General statements:

  • Keep the areas being used in the building clean and prevent transmission from any touching of contaminated surfaces
  • Paper hand towels only in toilets with open topped, bagged bin. Disposed of immediately after service by gloved Steward and cleaners.
  • Visiting Leadership Team members / photocopying person to clean as they go with anti-bacteria cleaner and fill in the visiting premises track and trace register
  • Used room(s) will not be re-used for 72 hours. Signs on doors to indicate ‘clean’ or ‘used’. The exception to this will be for cleaning and maintenance where the user must clean as they go. Room use and cleaning log to be completed by user / cleaner.
    If room(s) to be re-used within 72 hours the room(s) must fully sanitised and soft furnishings vacuum cleaned. See Appendix E – Log of Room Usage.
  • Anti-bacteria spray bottles and kitchen rolls / paper towels stored on-site for cleaning pre, post and during building use.
  • All doors left open where practicable after having handles sanitised by cleaner or Stewards team.
  • As many windows as practicable left open after catches sanitised by cleaner or Stewards team.
  • If somebody should be taken ill during a service, COVID must be presumed. The government guidance for cleaning to be followed – details on display in cleaning room.

Section 3 – Hygiene

Stewards are to ensure that disposable gloves, face coverings, anti-bacteria spray bottles, liquid soap and kitchen rolls / paper towels supplies checked before service.

Doors, external and internal, are to be left open where possible to minimise contact with handles etc. Fire Safety and Safeguarding should be taken into consideration.

Section 4 – Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

All Stewards to wear full face visors to enable clear communication and protection. Disposable gloves are to be worn as required.

Section 5 – Information and Guidance

General statements:

  • The preachers are instructed to report to a Steward upon arrival.
  • Covid 19 information is projected before the services. Verbal instructions from a Steward is given to those assembled from a printed script.
  • The church premises has been provided with signage and information to ensure best COVID safety. The Church Leadership team identifies and updates information and guidance as changes occur. The changes are identified during regular Leadership Zoom meetings using the updated Guides referenced to in:

Section 6 – Contractors and Delivery Drivers

Contractors and delivery drivers who need access to the building should be met onsite before entry, and information and guidance given. The NHS test and trace register is to be completed for each person involved. The mandatory NHS Test & Trace contact details are to be collected (Appendix B, Track & Trace – Visitors Contact Details).

Note Visitors using the NHS QR Code (displayed at building entrance) and NHS Covid-19 App are not required to register.