A September return to Sunday Worship in Loughries

Dear Member

We are so grateful and excited to be able to gather together again for face to face worship experiences at our church. We aim to provide you with Christian love and consideration as we prepare to receive you and your family.

Our intention, Government guidelines permitting, is to re-open for church services on Sunday 6 September 2020 and we have planned on changing our start time on a Sunday morning to 11am, finishing no later than 11.45am, but this is not the only change that we will all have to adjust to.

The most significant change is that you will now have to register your intention of attending on a Sunday.

Please leave a message on the church answering machine 028 9181 5182 no later than 6pm on Friday evening each week. Please leave your name and the number of people, including children, that will be attending, e.g. Hogg X 2, McClean X 6, Bennett X 1. You will be sitting in your family units.

This will enable our deacons to arrange our seating areas in a way that will maximise those who can sit in the main hall and the overflow area in the sports hall and maintain social distancing.

To follow government guidelines and to assist with track and trace procedures, each person’s attendance will be logged as they enter the church building.

We intend operating a one-way system for both halls; therefore, those allocated a seat in the main hall will enter via the main doors and at the end of the service leave via the front double doors. Those allocated a seat in the sports hall will enter via the conservatory doors and leave via the emergency door. There will be hand sanitiser available at all entrances and exits.

A Touch-less Experience

To make our church touch-less, all entry doors will remain open, weather permitting, for the entire time you are on the premises. We will wipe clean all door handles and high-touch surfaces with antibacterial solution as much as possible before, during, and after services.

Each person in our church family falls somewhere along the spectrum of attitudes toward social distancing guidelines, from very cautious to not worried at all. Therefore, according to the Christian virtues of selflessness, respect, and kindness laid out in Romans 14, we desire to accommodate those who are most cautious. We want them to feel welcomed and experience services with us in person.

We are asking our church family to refrain from any physical contact with others outside of immediate family. This includes but is not limited to handshakes, hugging, and fist or elbow bumping. We will very kindly and graciously inform anyone who is unaware of this understanding to refrain from physical contact. We know this is difficult, but for now, we must sacrifice these signs of friendship for the good of our most cautious brethren.

We also strongly encourage those in the high-risk, vulnerable population to stay home and tune in online.

We would encourage people to wear masks. We will have a limited number but would exhort you to bring your own, if possible.

Initially our services will be very simplistic as we ease into things. As I am sure you can appreciate, no system will work perfectly right from the outset. In order to make this as easy as possible for all concerned, we will aim to start with a short service, with a talk aimed for the whole family. We can then build our service up as we get more comfortable with the system and more comfortable spending longer together.

We would ask that when you leave after the services that you return to your car and head home, to ensure that social distancing is maintained and those who are more vulnerable are not put at risk.

As you can see there are a lot of changes to our ‘normal’ Sunday morning service and there are a lot of new tasks, which we are still getting to grips with.

So please be patient with all the volunteers who are seeking to serve and ensure that we can meet together safely.


  1. When will things get back to normal?

Whenever the government regulations allow it

  1. Do we park in the carpark, as usual?

We would ask you to use the one-way system around the church and to park as directed by those on carpark duty.

  1. Will there be toileting facilities available?

Those in the main hall will have access to the disabled toilet and those in the sports hall will have access to the ladies’ toilets only. We are hoping that the shorter service will reduce the need to use the toilets as they must be cleaned thoroughly after every use and we must allow a gap of 5 minutes between uses. There will be no access to the gents toilets for this reason.

  1. Will there be access to the kitchen?

There will be no access to the kitchen, therefore if you require water you will have to bring your own. If anyone enters the kitchen then it also must be cleaned thoroughly afterwards.

  1. Will the creche and bible classes still be running?

Not initially. Therefore, the service will be shorter and family friendly.

  1. Can I sing during worship?

Worship will be one of the elements we seek to build up over time. The first services will likely not have musicians performing, but we will use music videos and we will not ask you to sing along with them, but we will also not discourage you from doing so.

  1. Will you still offer services online?

Yes. Each service will be recorded and made available.

Anyone who cannot attend will not miss out. Links to the services will be posted on the social media platforms afterwards for those who missed it “live”.

  1. What if I need counsel or prayer from a leader or pastor?

The pastor and leaders are available for counsel or prayer and will maintain social distancing. Additionally, you can also submit your prayer request in writing or privately online.

  1. Can I still give financially?

Of course.

As you can appreciate, our income has dropped since March. We have been thankful to those who have continued to support the work through direct-debit payments, but we would encourage you to come with the intention to give as you are able to.


Yours sincerely,

Geoffrey Kennedy

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