25 February 2022: From Mike Vamvadelis, Operations Manager
You'll probably already aware that this week the Government removed all remaining Covid restrictions in England. In particular, we have been notified by NHS Test and Trace that we are to cease collecting attendance data, in addition to it no longer being a legal requirement to wear a mask in public places. This therefore seems the right time for PBC to end our Covid-19 procedures.
We no longer request individuals to wear a face covering when at church or to sign in when entering the building. Nevertheless, we do ask that everyone continues to act responsibly. Please feel free to continue to wear a face covering if/when you choose to. Of course, if a new variant of the virus emerges, the Government may reintroduce measures and we will of course respond accordingly.
And so, all of a sudden, we are allowed to return to a way of life that has not been permitted since March 2020! As we respond to these renewed freedoms let’s be very kind and understanding of one another. We all approach this from different perspectives and circumstances, and will adjust to these changes at our own pace and in our own way. If you haven’t already done so, I hope you will feel comfortable returning to church in-person, at the right time for you. If you are not able/comfortable to return to church in-person, I trust you will continue to feel connected to the church family including watching morning services which will always be live-streamed and available on catch-up.
As always please feel free to contact the Church Office if you have any questions or concerns.
2 December 2021: From James Collins, Senior Pastor
Since the start of the pandemic, we have introduced and maintained safety measures in line with advice from the Baptist Union which is in turn based upon Government guidance. Earlier this week, the Government issued new rules for England and so I’m writing to update you on how these will affect us as we gather together for worship and ministry activities.
On 27 November 2021, the Prime Minister announced new precautionary measures in light of the emergence of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in the UK. These focus on rules around international travel, and on the compulsory wearing of face coverings from Tuesday 30 November in shops and on public transport for those not exempt.
Updated Government guidance on face coverings does not make it mandatory to wear face coverings in churches in England, though we note the ongoing recommendation that they are worn in enclosed and crowded spaces. Therefore we will continue to request that face masks should be worn at services and large gatherings. Given the increased risk at present, we have decided to apply this requirement to the Sunday at Seven service once again.
Of course I understand that some of you still feel uncertain about coming out particularly if you are more vulnerable to the disease. Nevertheless, I hope our commitment to following the latest guidance will enable most of you to feel confident to attend our normal programme of church services and activities and the special Christmas services the church will soon be hosting.