Coronavirus Update 20th January 2022
We are pleased to have been able to remain open throughout the last six months, and delighted that although we have had cases of covid amongst our congregation there does not appear to have been any infection resulting from our meeting together. We thank all who attend for their diligence in following covid safe guidelines and hope that continues into the future.
In the light of the recent drop in covid cases we are aware that laws on mask wearing are likely to be rescinded in the near future. We would ask that anyone attending considers wearing a mask if they are able to do so, for the safety of those around them. We would also encourage people to be conscious of social distancing and to continue to use hand sanitiser when they enter the building.
If anyone is feeling unwell, has tested positive or has been a close contact of someone with covid, we would encourage you to stay at home and join our services on zoom.
Currently we are not providing refreshments after the service, but we hope this will restart shortly.
Coronavirus update 25th June
I am delighted to say that plans continue to reopen the church building on 27th June. We will be keeping an eye on the numbers in the local area and may change the below if cases rise significantly. Please read the following information carefully.
From Sunday 27th June, Sunday morning prayer meetings will be held on zoom at 9am. This will avoid undue time being spent in the building before the service.
Please do not attend church if you have any symptoms of covid, have had a positive test or have been asked to isolate by test and trace. We also encourage you to use asymptomatic lateral flow tests regularly; these are currently free to obtain from many pharmacies.
The church doors will open at 10:15am for church attenders. Please do not come to church before this time unless you have arranged to help with preparations for the service. The service will begin at 10:30am.
We do want to encourage people to come back to the building; for this reason we will not be recording the service for youtube. If you miss the service and want to catch up later, you will need to use the audio recording or text option on the church website. In future there may be an option to broadcast the service live on zoom, this will be discussed after we have returned to the building.
A one way system is in place: entry on Sunday mornings is through the front door of the church only. When entering the building, you will be asked to wash your hands or use sanitiser, and record your details for Test and Trace.
Masks (which securely cover nose and mouth – not face shields) must be worn in the building unless you are exempt under the government’s exemption rules.
For the time being, Sunday School will not be running. Children will be given activities to do in the main church building during the service, but remain the responsibility of the adult accompanying them at all times.
Seating will be available in groups of up to 6 individuals, in line with government guidelines, and each group will be 2m distance from other groups. You may interact within the group but please refrain from socialising with other groups whilst in the building.
Please be aware that everyone has their own responses to the covid situation – some may be happy to have close contact, but others remain more anxious or even vulnerable. With this in mind as you enter the building you will be offered a choice of coloured stickers; red, orange or green. If you are anxious about social contact please select an orange or red sticker (depending on level of importance) so others know to maintain distancing etc. There will also be some single seats available in addition to the groups of 6; if you are anxious or consider yourself vulnerable please do make use of these.
Sadly, we are still unable to engage in congregational singing indoors. For this reason you may find the leaders avoiding some of our favourite songs (we know you just can’t help yourselves!) and using more new songs which are easier to listen to rather than sing. We are allowed a small number of people singing at the front and if you are really desperate to sing it may be possible for others to join Jon and Debbie on occasion. We are also allowed to sing outdoors if there is enough call for it!
We are unable to provide refreshments during the service. Please bring a bottle of water if you think it may be necessary.
For the moment, we will not be serving tea and coffee after the service. The service leader will direct you out of the building at the end of the service, and you may socialise in the car park – please remember social distancing and consider keeping masks on, especially around those with orange or red stickers. There will be chairs available outside if you are unable to stand.
Please leave any clearing away for those who have arranged to do this, rather than staying indoors to help. We would much prefer at this time for you to enjoy fellowship outside; if you want to help in the church after the service please let Helen know and we can plan for this.
Coronavirus update 12th April 2021
As we enter stage 2 of the relaxation of lockdown restrictions, we rejoice with the rest of the country that things are starting to open up again! However, limitations still remain in place and these mean that we are unable to join together in communal worship as we would like to. With this in mind, and taking into account the widespread engagement of the church in online activities, we do not plan to reopen for in-person services until 27th June.
All our services can be found on youtube – search Laindon Baptist Church.
These are shown through laindonbaptist.online.church at 10:30am every Sunday morning where we can interact through typed chat and would love to welcome new people. The service is followed by fellowship over zoom at 11:15am – contact us for login details.
Noah’s Ark and Girls’ Brigade will not be reopening in person until September, although Girls’ Brigade continues to run on zoom on alternate Mondays. Tea and chat will reopen when restrictions allow for wider socialisation, which will again probably be after 21st June. As the weather improves we hope to be able to undertake some amount of gathering outdoors – please watch our facebook page or contact us to be kept up to date with any further plans.
We are keen to continue to support those who are struggling at this difficult time, please contact us if you or anyone you know is in this situation. Our minister is undertaking pastoral support visits for those lonely or isolated (although not isolating!) and we can also support with regular telephone calls if necessary.
Please stay safe, keep each other safe and we hope to be able to see you all soon.
God bless you and keep you,
Helen Harrigan (minister)
Tel: 07716 556528
We would urge that the following procedures should be followed (this information may be updated in future weeks):
· NHS advice urges that the greatest protection against coronavirus is good hand hygiene; please wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds particularly when you arrive at home/work, after coughing or sneezing, and before preparing food.
· If coughing or sneezing, please cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or do so into the crook of your elbow (not into your hands); put used tissues in the bin and wash your hands as soon as possible.
· We recommend that we restrict physical contact until the outbreak has passed. In particular, those who greet on entry and exit from church will be asked not to shake hands or offer hugs. Be creative!
· Please follow government advice regarding self-isolation when returning from high risk areas, or experiencing any symptoms (new and persistent cough for 4 hours and temperature of 37.8oC or above are early/mild symptoms and self isolation is recommended for 7 days in the first instance). Sermons will be available online or in document form on request.
· We urge anyone who is self-isolating to let us know, so that we can find ways of offering appropriate pastoral care at this time. Telephone contact will be maintained.
· If you are aware of those in difficulties from isolation please ask if we can help.
As a church we endeavour to respond to this outbreak in a Christlike way. Bear in mind that taking sensible precautions is not principally an act of self-protection, but primarily an action designed to protect others who are at risk in our congregation and our community. And we continue to be open-hearted and attentive to the lonely, the vulnerable and the anxious, both within the church and beyond. Above all, we will face the future (which is always uncertain) with courage and faith in God.
Clean hands, open hearts!
Minister, Laindon Baptist Church
firstname.lastname@example.org; tel. 07716 556528