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.