Dear Friends,

It is lovely to be able to tell you that we shall be reopening St Andrew’s from Sunday 12 July 2020. This decision has been made following a meeting of the PCC on Saturday 4 July, where we discussed the advice and guidance we have received this week and the procedures we should adopt in order to comply. We shall start with one service a week and this will be a Low Mass at 10 o’clock on Sundays only. We may in future weeks extend this to a Wednesday morning mass as well.

Things will be very different from the Sunday morning Mass we know and love. Communion will only be taken with the host. Please do not take the host from Fr Anthony but wait for him to place it in your out stretched hand. He will not be placing the host in your mouth if that was your previous practice. There will be no Sidespersons to guide you to take communion please leave your pew only after the people in the pew on the alternate side in front of you have left their pew. Return by the side aisles.

There will be no singing although the organ will play before, during and at the end of mass. There will be no servers or acolytes and no incense. The thurible will be alight by the altar but there will be no sensing of the congregation and no procession.

There are also several things we shall be asking you the congregation to do as well.

Entrance will be by way of the main south door but at end of mass you will exit via the hall door. We ask that at the end of mass you leave your pew one at a time maintaining social distancing at all times and go straight to the hall door. Please do not congregate around the door but exit the churchyard before you stop to engage in conversation.

There is a one way system throughout the church, please go down the main aisle and back up the side aisles especially when returning from communion.

In order to maintain social distancing we have had to cordon off alternate rows of pews and mark out places in the remaining pews where people may sit.

This now means that we can accommodate only 31 single people. Couples and family ‘bubbles’ mean more people can be admitted because clearly they will not be social distancing but be prepared to find the church full when you arrive. We are afraid it is a case of first come first served.

Remember social distancing at all times. 1 metre outside 2metres inside the church.

Please do not arrive at church before 9:40. The church will not be open to the congregation before this time.

Be prepared to queue outside the church at 1 metre distances.

Only one person at a time will be allowed into the porch were you will be asked to sanitise your hands and to provide your name and contact details. We are required to keep your details for 21 days for Track and Trace purposes should it become necessary.

Once you have done this you will be shown to a seat in the church. This may not be your normal seat but once seated we ask that you remain in your seat until the end of Mass. Mass books will be in the pews at each place setting. Please leave these in the pew when you leave.

Please leave your collection on the plate at the back of the church on the way to your seat. If you forget there will be an opportunity to do this as you leave via the hall door as a second plate is positioned by the Lady Chapel. No collection will be taken during the service. The electronic card reader will be by the first collection plate for those who give this way and for any other donations.

Only one toilet remains open for use. This is the disabled toilet. You will find a pack of sanitising wipes there and we ask that after use you wipe down all touch contact services before you leave the toilet. The toilet will be cleaned thoroughly at the end of mass and bins emptied.

We are sorry that we have had to impose these conditions but they are for our own safety as well as that of others. Please don’t worry that you may not remember all these points when you get to church, we shall be here with notices and signs to guide you through.

Finally we owe a very large thank you to Tim, his family and all those who contributed to the weekly video which brought great deal of comfort to a great many people in Deal and further afield.

We hope to see you in church as soon as you are able.

With love and prayers

Ann & Chris

St Andrew’s reopens 12th July