COVID-19 and St. Thomas’ Church
AS OF 13TH JANUARY 2021:
We have decided to close the Church entirely for the time being. We’d like to encourage everyone to stay at home and keep safe as the COVID-19 rates are so high.
We open the Church every Monday and Thursday between 11.30am and 1.30pm for people to come and pray individually. Everyone is welcome! Our greeters will provide you with sanitiser. Please do wear a mask when you come into the Church.
Wednesday 10am Eucharist
FROM 8TH JANUARY 2021:
We have made the difficult decision to stop in-person worship at this time. We will livestream this service at 10am every Wednesday on our Facebook page.
Sunday 10am Eucharist
FROM 8TH JANUARY 2021:
We have made the difficult decision to stop in-person worship at this time. Sunday service will be held on ZOOM. If you’d like to join us, please email Revd. Cat for an invite!
As the country has battled against the COVID-19 pandemic, we hope that you and your families have stayed safe and well.
UPDATE 13TH JANUARY 2021
We have made the difficult decision to close the church completely at this time. There will therefore be no open church sessions. This is to encourage people not to go out while rates of COVID-19 infection remain so high.
UPDATE FROM REVD. CAT: 8TH JANUARY 2021
In light of the rising cases (especially in Suffolk), and the fast spread of the virus, I have made the decision that we will be suspending in-person worship at St Thomas’ for now.
We will of course keep reviewing the situation, and return to church in person when it is safe to do so. But at the moment it feels wisest to go online, and to take care of each other from a safe distance!
- We will return to Zoom for Sunday morning worship; I will continue making videos, and on Wednesdays the Eucharist will be live-streamed on the St Thomas facebook page.
I know this will be disappointing for some, but we hope and pray for a swift rolling out of the vaccine, and a speedy return to being able to gather together.
Please continue to check in with each other – if there is someone from church you would like to connect with but you don’t have their number, let me know and I can put you in touch!
With love and prayers,
Q: Do you have any in-person events I can attend?
As of 13th January 2021, we have taken the decision to close the Church for all in-person services and events. We will run Wednesday Eucharists via livestream on Facebook, and Sunday Eucharists on ZOOM.
If you have coronavirus symptoms:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste
PLEASE DO NOT ATTEND CHURCH IF YOU HAVE ANY SYMPTOMS.
If you develop symptoms after attending church, you must let us know.
Q: What precautions are being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
We take this very seriously at St. Thomas and have a number of precautions in place.
- Hand sanitiser – you must use the sanitiser on the way in and the way out of the Church.
- Face masks – these are mandatory unless you are covered by the Government exemptions.
- Social distancing – please remain 2 metres apart from others while in the Church building. You will be asked to sit with adequate spacing between you and the next person, unless you are family or forming a “support bubble”.
On Sundays, we operate a seating plan created from the list of people who book in.
- No singing – Unfortunately, we are currently unable to sing hymns during our Eucharist services as this could inadvertently spread germs. We do have a very talented vocalist who sings during our Sunday Eucharist, accompanied by our organist, Simon.
No coffee after the service – We miss this one! But for everyone’s safety, we are currently not providing refreshments or shared lunch after the Sunday 10am service. We do run a ZOOM Coffee chat after the service though, so you can nip home and join in online for our usual chatter.
- Temperature checking – One of our sidespeople will take your temperature using a contactless thermometer to ensure you are not exhibiting any signs of fever (a symptom of COVID-19).
Sunday Booking System – As Sunday is our busiest day, we have been operating a booking system for the 10am Eucharist. Anyone can book in! Our office administrator emails everyone on a Saturday morning to let them know if they’re booked in, and creates a seating plan (please see below for details on how to book).
Q: I’m still shielding and I don’t feel able to attend in person. What can I do?
We understand that some people will not feel able to return to Church physically yet, and this is fine! We are still here for you if you need us. We have a team of people who keep in touch with members of the congregation, and if you would like to chat, you can reach out to our clergy via the Contact page.
We also have a downloadable resource for praying at home.
Q: ZOOM Church and Livestreaming – how do I participate?
We are running ZOOM Church on Sundays instead of in-person services, as of 8th January 2021. This means you can join in from home via your computer, tablet or smartphone. If you’d like an invite to join us on ZOOM, you are more than welcome! Please email Revd. Cat and she can send you an invite.
On Wednesdays, we livestream the 10am Eucharist on our Facebook page. You don’t need to join Facebook to watch it, just visit the page. You can also watch past livestreams!
Rev. Cat also posts a weekly video on Youtube – head over to her YT channel and give them a watch.
Q: I’d like to come to Church on Sunday – how do I book? We have a booking form which you can fill in online. We ask for contact details like email and phone number just for the purposes of contacting you to say you’re booked in and for track and trace if it is necessary (although we hope we won’t have to do that, of course). Your details are held securely and are deleted after 21 days. The booking form opens on Tuesdays and closes at 9am on Saturdays. Our office administrator will send out emails to everyone after that to let them know if their booking was successful. We do operate a waitlist, but so far, we haven’t had to use it as we have enough seating to safely space people out. Sunday School will be resuming from Sunday 6th December 2020, with appropriate safety measures in place, so please fill in the appropriate section on the form if your children would like to attend!