Links to documents relating to Methodist guidance for a wide variety of church activities are given in this page.
The guidance of the Methodist Church relating to Step 4 (July 19) of the removal of legal restrictions is available HERE and is also here in a page format. This link provides the full text set against the Government restrictions which have been removed. Responsibility for judging safety lies even more squarely on churches.
For buildings already open for worship, the Church provides the following cautions:
*Firstly, from a missional perspective, reflect on and continue with the positive changes that have been made during the pandemic. Perhaps this has been live-streaming services or more outward-looking mission into the community through outdoor services, prayer or house groups or other events. Look to improve on these as a means of giving people within and outside the church continued access to worship, teaching and support during this period of transition and change.
*This will help in considering whether it is appropriate to return to a building or whether the mission of God and the work of the church is better done in another way. In some places, the decision might even be not to resume physical worship in the building. This should not be seen as a failure, but as a response to the movement of the Spirit of God as we seek to create new places for new people.
It also provides this helpful advice about Covid safety.
*Appropriate use of face coverings. Would it be sensible as a congregation to wear them for a little longer?
*Good ventilation to properties or considering meeting outdoors.
*Encouraging frequent hand washing and keeping sanitiser out for people to use.
*Encouraging people to stay at home if they are unwell.
*Considering individual risks: such as clinical vulnerabilities, illness and vaccination status.
*Retaining retiring offering or online giving rather than 'passing the offering plate'.
*Deter handshaking and hugging and find other ways to share 'the Peace'.
*Encourage the continued use of personal, not shared items, such as books.
Updated 26 July 2021