The development of the coronavirus (COVID-19)
has been covering news headlines recently and understandably raising general
concern. What will its impact be on church? What can we do in our church to
prevent its spread?
Jersey Baptist Church, we are committed to following the official advice of the
Government of Jersey and we are continuously monitoring the situation through
updates given at: https://www.gov.je/health/coronavirus
Based on the latest advice, Jersey Baptist
Church is recommending the following steps:
- We will be open for Sunday Church Meetings (Other midweek meetings are “under review”)
- We will practice good hygiene
- We will encourage social distancing
- We will require self-isolation for those who are unwell
Practice Good Hygiene
We are following public health advice which
recommends general good hygiene (things we should already be doing!) to help
prevent the spread of the virus. This includes:
- When coughing or sneezing, covering your nose and mouth with a tissue sneezing/coughing into your elbow
- Immediately throwing used tissues into the bin;
- Frequently washing your hands with hot water and soap for at least 20 seconds, or using hand sanitiser if water and soap is not available;
- Avoiding close contact with others (IE. practising social distancing);
- When entering church, please use hand sanitiser which will be located at all entrances.
Face masks play an important role in places
like hospitals, but there’s little evidence of much benefit for members of the
public. There is no reason to stay away from large gatherings of people unless
you’ve been specifically advised to by public health officials or a medical
Encourage Social Distancing
The latest advice from the Government of
Jersey is that anyone who is either immune compromised or over the age of 65 to
carefully consider staying home and at the very least practice social
understand the difference between social distancing and self- isolation see the
fact sheet produced by the Government of Jersey: https://www.gov.je/SiteCollectionDocuments/Health%20and%20wellbeing/ID%20Social%20Distancing%20Factsheet.pdf
At church we will facilitate social
- Reserving the side wheelchair entrance for those who are immune compromised or over 65. (there will not be welcomers on these doors, not because we don’t care about you, but because we want to create space).
- We are also reserving the ground floor seating in both the left and right wings of church for social distancing seating (seating will be spaced out so that those seating in these areas will be one metre (3 seats) apart from one another. Couples and members of the same family may sit together)
- We will also reserve the right wing of the balcony for social distancing seating. If you are able-bodied and not in an at-risk category, but would like social distancing seating, please choose this area.
- Finally, this will be hard, but we ask that everyone refrain from personal contact with each other (hand shaking, hugging, etc.). This is not a fearful and panicked response, but one born out of love for our church family.
- We not be participating in the Lord’s Supper tomorrow as this involves passing plates and cups.
- We will take up an offering, but will do so by having giving points at the entrances of church and not through passing the giving bags.
- We will not be serving teas and coffees after the service (this one will be difficult for us coffee lovers)
- Those who are over 65 or immune compromised are being asked not to lead children’s groups because of the potential for contact which is a given in children’s groups
Again, these measures are not a fearful and
panicked response, but are cautious ones based in current advice and born out
of love for our church family.
Require Self-Isolation for Those Who are Unwell
We are asking that anyone with flu-like
symptoms, including a combination of a fever, a cough, muscle aches and
headaches should self-isolate until they are symptom free (for a minimum of
seven days). This applies whether they have travelled outside Jersey or not,
and is irrespective of contact with a Covid-19 case.
For those in these categories,
Please, if you are sick in any way (coughing,
sneezing, running a fever, or just not feeling well) for your safety and the
safety of those in the congregation DO NOT come to the church
It’s easy to forget at such times that we
have a God who is fully in control and perfectly loving, who hears our prayers
and responds to them. We should then comfort ourselves with this knowledge and
pray that God would keep us safe, that he would help those at the front line of
treating the virus, and for it to be gone!
If you or your family need anything in the days
to come, please do not hesitate to ask for assistance.
Christ with Love,
Rev Drew Waller |Pastor