UPDATE FROM SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT , 4 JANUARY 2021
“Places of worship are required to close for worship, but can open for the purposes of leading an act of worship (broadcast or online), conducting a marriage or civil partnership ceremony or a funeral.”
The Church of Scotland updated their guidance on 6 January stating, ” We are very conscious of the need to provide spiritual resources in this time, both nationally and locally. However, under current restrictions, churches must close for in-person worship.”
Please do not come to church on Sunday mornings until further notice. We will continue to livestream worship.
A team has worked hard to ensure the church is a safe environment for the congregation. When we have permission from Edinburgh Presbytery to open for Sunday morning services, entrance to the church will be by the door nearest Claverhouse Drive, commonly referred to as the Edinburgh door. Masks must be worn.
All pew cushions, hymn books and Bibles have been removed, however please feel free to bring your own cushion and Bible. On entry you will see signage as shown below:
There is a one-way system in the sanctuary, and you will be asked by a steward to sit in a particular pew to minimise passing by people.
Your name and telephone number must be given to the steward upon entry. This is to help with the collection of data as part of the Trace and Protect programme. Alternatively, if you have the TapMyData app on your smart phones you can scan the QR code that will be at the Edinburgh door.
Sanitizer stations for your use are located at the entrance and exit.
Due to the size of our sanctuary and to provide social distancing, our maximum congregation size is 30 people. More than 2m social distancing is achieved by keeping two rows of pews empty between seated rows. An example of what this looks like is shown below:
- Households can sit together.
- The Sunday service will consist of organ play/scripture/sermon, unfortunately singing is prohibited at this time however DVD hymns may be played on screens. Services will be shorter in duration, typically 30-40 minutes long.
- Disabled access and for people with mobility issues, the side door (ramp door) can still be used.
- The only toilet being used is the disabled toilet, accessed from the Hall of Friendship
- In the Hall of Friendship, access to the Sparklers room, the ladies toilet and the stairs is taped off. No access to Falconer Hall or kitchen is allowed.
- There will be no teas and coffee after the service.
- Exit is on a first-in, first-out basis by the door next to Mount Vernon Road, commonly called the Gilmerton door. A sanitizer station is by the exit.
- A donation box for freewill offerings will be placed at exit for those wishing to donate. Please note that you can also donate by standing order or direct debit. Contact a member of the Finance Team if you want information on this.
The information in this article obviously focuses on the differences coming to church forced on us all by the pandemic, however, on the positive side, we can join in public worship, we can join in common prayer, we can hear the Word of God read and taught, we can share (physically distanced) fellowship. We are continuing the 2,000-year-old tradition of public Christian worship that has been practiced at Liberton Northfield for over 150 years.