We have reopened our church building for Sunday services. The pattern of services is the same as we were following in Autumn 2020.
These services continue to feel different, as we’ve still got to protect ourselves as much as we can from the risk of spreading the Coronavirus if someone who has it inadvertently attends the services.
We’re ready for you!
We’ve got to keep to the social distancing instructions during the service, which means capacity is limited. Roughly, we can accommodate 50 people downstairs and another 50 upstairs – but before the virus came we normally had 250 people attending our morning service. So to be sure of being able to get in, you need to book a place no later than lunchtime on the Friday for the following Sunday’s service as we have to prepare a seating allocation to ensure social distancing between families is achieved. Please book either through ChurchSuite or by phoning the church office on 01525 371312.
To allow as many as possible to attend services, we’re running two services, one at the usual 10.30am and another in the afternoon at 3.00pm. But these services are slightly different! We’re really sorry but we can’t run children’s activities during services the way we did pre-Covid – so children will have to stay with their parents. But to make this easier, we’ve made the afternoon one more child-friendly. We will still have our usual mix of contemporary worship music and prayers, but when it comes to learning from God’s word, instead of having a talk (or sermon, which the morning service will have), we engage with the topic through discussion and activities led by the service leader, which each family group can join in with. The morning service is intended to last about an hour, the afternoon one being slightly shorter.
So please decide which service you prefer to attend and book your place. Remember, whichever service you attend, you’ll have to wear a face mask (unless medically exempt), and we’ll have to allocate you to seating with the appropriate gaps between people. For the moment you can only sit with people in your own household or support bubble (that will change at a later stage in the roadmap), and we’re not allowed to mingle in large groups before or after the service. We’ll be able to meditate on the lyrics of the worship songs, and maybe hum along quietly, but we can’t sing out loud. Sadly there’s a few other regulations we have to comply with, but we are constantly reviewing these as Government and BU guidance is updated. But, despite these restrictions, we ARE able to get together and encourage one another with our nods and waves, and as we say our “amens” and share in worship and praise.
If you can’t come…
We realise that not everyone can come to our services – perhaps because you have underlying health problems and still don’t feel you should be in a building with upwards of 60 other people, or maybe because you’ve not been able to book a place. So to allow for that, we’re live-streaming our 10.30am service, which you can watch either by going to our YouTube channel (search YouTube for “Hockliffe Street Baptist Church”), or you can view the video through this website at the page leightonbaptists.org.uk/live. The stream will go live by about 10.25 each Sunday morning. Shortly after the service finishes, YouTube will have a recording of the service available to watch on demand.
Helping those who don’t have internet access
We know that some regular members of our congregation don’t have access to the technology to be able to watch the service through YouTube, so we’re also making DVDs of the recording to deliver late Sunday or on Mondays. If you know someone who could benefit from this, please let the church office know. See our “Contact us” page if you need help with sending us a message.