We hope you are well, and that the past few months have not been too hard for you and your loved ones. We'd like to update you on our plans for the churches, now that Scottish Government guidance allows places of worship to reopen, as long as this is done safely.
We are going to start slowly and for the moment, and will offer an in-person service at Yester Church at 11am on the first Sunday of the month only. We will also offer lunchtime services at 12noon on the second Wednesday of the month at Saltoun Church, and on the fourth Wednesday of the month at Bolton Church. The decision to divide services this way is based purely on the capacity of the respective buildings with physical distancing in place. The services will be shorter and follow a slightly different format from the services before lockdown. There are a number of guidelines which must be followed by everyone attending a service and these are set out at the end of this note. Before attending a service, please read and follow these carefully as they are for your own and everyone else’s protection.
At this time, we would simply like to offer in-person services for all who would like to come together in a church building for worship, and especially all who have difficulty in accessing the online services. However, I know that many of us are very anxious about larger gatherings at this time, and nobody should in any way feel pressured to attend these services in person before they feel ready to do so. All of us will have different circumstances and needs. A video recording of the service will be available on our church website from Sunday afternoon, and audio recordings are available on CD on request. Participating in a service online, or through a sound recording, is worship just as much as doing so in a church building.
We hope you will understand that none of these decisions has been taken lightly. These first few weeks of in-person services will be an opportunity for us to work out the practicalities of re-opening, so please bear with us as we try to get it right. We hope we can approach this new phase with our usual good humour and helpfulness. All of the arrangements are for the current time only, and will be reviewed based on our learning and experience, your feedback, and as the wider situation around covid evolves.
If you would like any help or support, or would welcome a conversation by phone, video call or a socially distant visit, please get in touch with Anikó or one of the elders.
In-person services – guidelines for all attendees
These are the guidelines asked of us by the Church of Scotland, in close collaboration with the Government, to keep us all safe and protected.