Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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UPDATE: 21 JUNE 2021

As you will no doubt be aware, the government has proceeded to progress to step 4 of the roadmap out of lockdown. This means that we can begin to make some changes in the way we operate as a church.

Whilst we have a much greater degree of flexibility surrounding what we can do, both the government and the national church have asked us to be cautious as we move through into the next stages of unlocking given the high rates of infection, as well as the number of hospitalisations and deaths beginning to creep up.

As a leadership team, we have decided to heed this advice, and while we will be making some changes, others will follow in due course when we know more about the impacts of unlocking the country upon society. Government scientists have stated the full impact won’t be known until at least 10-14 days from the 19th July, so we want to tread joyfully, but still cautiously over the next few weeks. The elements that will change from this Sunday are outlined below, followed by the elements that we shall be leaving in place. We will be reviewing these changes in four weeks’ time to consider any adjustments.

As I mentioned on Sunday, moving to step 4 will generate mixed feelings in all of us. Some will be elated at the prospect of unlocking, whereas others will feel highly anxious. I’d like to encourage us to be kind to one another over the coming season, and allow one another the space to reflect upon the last 18-20 months or so we’ve been through, as well as process what the future may look like.

Now, just as we have been throughout the pandemic, we need to love our neighbour and care for each other. Some will need that hug or handshake; others will need space. Paul writes in Galatians 5 about freedom, and not using it for the self, but to serve and love others. With the arrival of ‘Freedom Day’, please don’t forget to love one another and respect each other’s wishes.

Aspects of Church life that will change:

You will no longer need to book for services.
You can now just turn up on the day and there is no need to use Eventbrite to reserve your space. The NHS QR codes will remain in place and we ask that you consider using these when you enter if able.  

We can now sing! 
Congregational singing will return from this Sunday – however, we will be asking that if you sing, keep your face mask on (unless medically exempt) to mitigate the risks of infection from the increased volume of your lovely voices!

Refreshments and fellowship after the service are back! 
Coffee, tea and a good natter will be back from this Sunday. If the weather is amenable, we will be setting up an area outside and – as the risk of contamination is greatly reduced outdoors – we would ask you to consider having your drink and chat outside where possible. If you need assistance getting outside, please do ask a steward.

We will use a ‘mixed mode’ seating arrangement. 
As mentioned above, people will feel differently about this next step. As such, when you enter the church building on Sunday there will be some seating for those who wish to sit with others, as well as some socially distanced seating for those who wish to maintain space. 

Aspects of Church life that will remain unchanged:

Please continue to sanitise on entry. 
Please ensure you are using the provided hand sanitiser when coming in.

Services will continue to be streamed. 
Our services will continue to be live streamed from 10am on Sunday mornings and available to enjoy on our YouTube channel and website during the week.

Please wear masks in the building. 
Whilst there is now no law requiring you to wear a mask, the government ‘expects and recommends’ people do when gathering in larger groups. As such, we politely ask that (unless medically exempt) you please continue to wear your mask if you can. If you are uncomfortable, especially in the hotter weather, masks can be removed once seated. However, if you wish to sing or move around the building, please put your mask back on.

Communion will still be distributed in one kind.
As mentioned earlier, this will be reviewed in due course. Ministers have been advised to carefully consider whether the shared cup should be reinstated due to the high-level health risk in doing so. Given the current rate of infection and potential consequences upon both our members and the NHS, the decision has been made to carry on as we are until we can be more certain the shared cup does not pose a substantial risk.

As Anglican priests, neither Mandy or myself are permitted under canon law to distribute using the little cups, but I am making enquiries as to whether there is a URC minister available to come and preside for us. However, having spoken to some eastern synod representatives it appears that many URC ministers and churches are being just as cautious – and more so in some cases. 

I therefore cannot guarantee that I will be able to find someone prepared to preside in this manner. I will still endeavour to find a minister to visit – and will do so regardless of COVID-19 as it is important that our ecumenical status is recognised and valued. 

With my prayers and blessings

Revd Andy Greaves-Brown


UPDATE: 4 APRIL 2021

We are pleased to be able to re-open our church for worship services from 4 April 2021.

As previously, to enable us to adhere to COVID safety guidelines and social distancing, we must limit the amount of people in our building at one time. If you would like to attend a Sunday morning service please pre-book your place online. You will need to wear a face covering in the church building, sanitise your hands as you enter and keep within your household/support bubbles.

We will also continue to live stream our services on Sunday at 10am.


UPDATE: 20 DECEMBER 2020

In light of our area moving into Tier 4 it is with heavy heart that we have made the decision to alter and, in some cases, cancel some of our Christmas services. We will no longer be holding the following services:

  • Carols on the Green, 24 December 4pm
  • Midnight Communion, 24 December 11:30pm

Our services on 20, 25 and 27 December will all be held via Zoom. Details can be found on our Christmas Services page.


UPDATE: DECEMBER 2020

From Wednesday 2 December our church building will re-open for several of our church activities and our 10am Sunday service.

As previously, to enable us to adhere to COVID safety guidelines and social distancing, we must limit the amount of people in our building at one time. If you would like to attend a Sunday morning service please pre-book your place online. You will need to wear a face covering in the church building and sanitise your hands as you enter.

We will also continue to live stream our services on Sunday at 10am.


UPDATE: NOVEMBER 2020

Due to the recent Government announcement, we are currently unable to gather together to worship in our church building.

We will continue to live stream our services on Sunday at 10am.

From 10 November the church will be open for private prayer twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays between 11am and 12noon.


UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 2020

We are pleased to announce that from 10am on Sunday 6 September our church building will be open for morning worship.

To enable us to adhere to COVID safety guidelines and social distancing we must limit the amount of people in our building at one time. If you would like to attend a Sunday morning service please pre-book your place online. You will need to wear a face covering in the church building, wash your hands as you enter and follow the one-way entry and exit route.

Alternately, our services will also be live streamed to enable you to worship from home. They are available to watch, along with our past services, on our Talks page.


UPDATE: 29 AUGUST 2020

As we prepare to re-open our building for worship, we will no longer be holding private prayer within the church each day. Thank you to everyone who helped to keep our doors open for our community over the past few months.


UPDATE: 15 JUNE 2020

Our church building will now be open from 11am - 12noon from Monday to Saturday for private prayer.


UPDATE: 17 MARCH 2020

As you may have heard, the Church of England has directed all churches to stop public worship from now on. With immediate effect, there will be no Sunday morning service at Church of Our Saviour until further notice. This is a sad but necessary step if we are to slow down the spread of the virus. However, we can of course continue to pray!

We are invited to join in with a national day of prayer this Sunday 22nd March. As a part of this we are encouraged to light a candle and place it in our windows at 7pm in the evening as a visible sign of our faith in Jesus the light of the world in whom our hope rests.  

'At such a time as this, when so many are fearful and there is great uncertainty, we are remined of our dependence on our loving heavenly Father and the future that he holds'

PLEASE don't forget to let Mandy or Stuart know if you have decided to self-isolate, or are poorly (contact details below, see 14 March update). Then we can arrange for someone to keep in touch with you.

Lord of compassion, be close to all those who are ill, afraid or in isolation.
In their loneliness, be their consolation;
In their anxiety, be their hope;
In their darkness, be their light;
through Him who suffered alone on the cross and reigns with you in glory
Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


UPDATE: 16 MARCH 2020

In response to the government announcement this afternoon and to reduce social interaction, all events at Church of Our Saviour are to be cancelled.  This includes Coffee Shack, Tiny Treasures, Craft Shack, ECHO, Good Companions and the Lent Course. 

In addition all hiring of our building will cease until further notice.

We are currently discussing with the Diocese and awaiting advice for our Sunday morning services.


UPDATE: 14 MARCH 2020

On advice from the Church of England we have come up with the following changes to the way in which we do church.

 You will be asked to wash your hands as you come into church by using the toilet facilities.  

You will be offered a blue Holy Communion Book for your own use during the pandemic. Please take it home with you and bring it to church whenever you come! We will of course continue to put the majority of words on the screen for the rest of the service.

Holy Communion will be served in one kind only. That means that the Minister will offer you a wafer but not wine in either a chalice or in individual glasses.  

We will not be passing a collection plate around. So please put your giving into the plate at the back of church, either when you come in or leave the building.

We will not be sharing The Peace in the usual way. Instead we will use sign language and stay in our own seats rather than moving around. 

We are going to continue to offer refreshments after the service, but this must be done differently. All drinks will be made and served by one person wearing gloves. Any person receiving a mug must be the one who will be drinking from it. Spoons will not be shared and biscuits/cakes not offered. After use mugs will be returned by the person who has used them and place on a separate table. These will be collected by someone with gloves who will place them in the dishwasher

As a church family we would like to support you, especially if you have to enter a period of self - isolating.  So please can you let us know if you are unwell or can't come along to church.  You can do this by ringing or emailing either Mandy or Stuart.  We will ask one of our team of volunteers to ring you and make sure you have everything you need. 

Mandy - 01245 287710 or mandy@churchoos.org.uk

Stuart - 07942 233615 

Don't forget that you should stay at home if you start coughing or have a temperature higher than 37.8 degrees. 

If you have any questions we will be happy to answer them as best we can.  

There may well be other changes we will need to make going forward, but we will endeavour to keep you fully informed. 

A prayer for us at this time

Keep us good Lord under the shadow of your mercy. 
Sustain and support the anxious, be with those who care for the sick,
And lift up all who are brought low; 
that we might find comfort knowing that nothing can separate us from your love in Christ Jesus.
Amen