In light of the government guidance, the URC Synod Moderators strongly encourage the use of face coverings for all people attending worship and other URC events that involve face-to-face meetings.
We recommend that these do not need to be surgical-type masks but should have at least three layers of material, in line with World Health Organisation guidance. However, we note that there may be issues of inclusion if the mouth and facial expressions are hidden from view – for example, if you are leading worship, and someone is lip-reading what you say. Where you expect this might be an issue, we would commend careful consideration to using the types of mask with a transparent “window” or a face shield/visor.
Worshippers should also be reminded that it can be a source of contamination to touch the face coverings whilst thinking or praying, and that care should be taken to prevent contamination when face coverings are put on or removed. Use the ear loops or tabs, and wash or sanitise hands before and after. This could be a particular issue if a safe way is found of serving communion, and people remove their face coverings for this. There is some straightforward advice from the American government about safe use of face coverings which can be found here.
You can download free 'Please wear a mask' posters from our Coronavirus resources page
Emerging out of lockdown
The URC Synod Moderators have produced some guidelines, Emerging into the ‘new normal’. This is a 28 page document with useful information for all churches and for all of us, however we are feeling. The vital thing to remember is that the coronavirus has not gone away, but that as the number of people infected has fallen, we are able to think about responding in a new way.
Download it here
We are here to help you at all stages. Don’t hesitate to ask the Mission and Discipleship Enabler or your Pastoral Officers to help you think things through, or to contact the Synod Property Officer with specific questions. Our Safeguarding officer will help with any queries about Safeguarding.
New reality, same mission
Has the lockdown made you reconsider your church communications? Has this been the time to move to an email magazine? You could use free options like Mailchimp.com for great templates, which also gives you control over evaluation of who reads it and information on who clicks through to links.
You can also adapt templates with images and text boxes. See our How To guide of how to use Mailchimp for your e-newsletter. Contact our Communications Officer if you would like to explore this option and feel uncertain about how to proceed.
If however you think this is the perfect time to up your game on your printed magazine, we have a new resource available. How to produce a great church magazine covers basics and tips including font and design. It encourages you to take stock and review where you are before moving forward, and gives advice on how to turn a basic newsletter into a professional looking publication. Download the pdf here.
We're also offering a service to churches who want to have a new website, to have use of our template website. So we've developed the look - but you personalise it with text and images. Get in touch if you would like to talk about this.
For any of the above contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Streaming services and other resources
The URC national team have created a web section which includes government advice, prayers, ideas and resources, lists of churches who are streaming services and how to stay connected through WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and Zoom. Visit their web section here
For as long as people are shut up indoors, Reform magazine is free online. Please tell anyone who might like to know about this. Free, online copies of Reform can be accessed via the webpage at http://ow.ly/lBUW50yT73A.