Keeping our worship space safe – attending an In-Person Gathering at IGB

Watch this video for a quick tour of what to expect at the Church at Carrs Lane when we meet.

6 TOP TIPS FOR ATTENDING IGB IN PERSON at the Church at Carrs Lane B4 7SX (the short version for those who don’t want to read this whole blog post):

  1. Pre-book a ‘seat’ via Eventbrite and read the information about travelling accessibility, public transport, parking and the Clean Air Zone that is there. If you are driving or have accessibility needs this is VERY important. The venue is fully accessible and we are happy to help.
  2. Bring a snack & drink if you want one, as we aren’t able to serve refreshments just yet. (Sadness!)
  3. You’ll need to wear a mask (unless you are exempt from doing so) and sanitise your hands on arrival.
  4. Don’t worry about not knowing what to do as the welcome stewards will direct you to your seats and help you. You’ll need to stay seated unless you are going to the loo. (That includes kids).
  5. We’ll be strict on social distancing and the church building is a NO HUGGING zone right now (as hard as that may be for some) and we won’t be able to mill around chatting together on the property just yet.
  6. If you want a more social time with folks, some may be going to the pub afterwards if you are comfortable doing that (this is not an official part of the event).

The LONG version for those who like the detail:

At Inclusive Gathering Birmingham, we want to affirm the need for everyone who is part of our community (or visiting) to feel safe and secure.  No one should feel pressured to attend an in-person worship gathering until they feel comfortable doing so.  Our desire is to continue to build one community (not an in-person and an online church), and so we are going to do our utmost to develop our ‘hybrid’ gathering where people can interact, participate and use their gifts together despite being in different spaces. 

In order to develop a physical space that feels Covid-safe and secure for as many as want to gather, we think it’s important to have clear guidelines and honouring ways of relating to one another and our shared space together. 

As with all things IGB, we are a learning community and recognise that these principles and ways of honouring will be refined and adapted as we learn and as the situation changes.

For those who do attend our monthly in-person gathering (3:45pm for a 4pm start on Sunday 6th June or Sunday 4th July) at The Church at Carrs Lane, the following instructions will help you and others to stay safe:

  1. We ask those who would like to attend the in-person gathering to book a seat (free) via EventBrite.  Those who arrive without having booked a seat may not be accommodated.
  2. The maximum number permitted in the main church room will be limited to around 35, with seats 2m apart – there will be some double seats for couples or 2 people in one bubble.
  3. You will be asked to wear a mask at all times (unless exempt from wearing a mask, leading worship or speaking at the front) and to sanitise your hands when entering the building.
  4. The seats will need to be socially distanced and you will be asked not to move them and to remain in your seat at all times (unless you need to use the toilets).
  5. There will be a one-way system into and out of the building and around the church room.
  6. Singing is not allowed at present and we will not be distributing paper handouts.  Our running order is available online instead.
  7. There will be no drinks/refreshment table until the Autumn. Please feel free to bring your own if you wish to have a drink during worship.
  8. There will be no socialising before or after the service in the foyer. By remaining in your seat you can chat to the people nearest you before and after the service.
  9. Maintain social distancing at all times when entering and leaving the building. Don’t stand by the entrances waiting for others before and after the service.
  10. Do not touch surfaces unnecessarily whilst moving around the building.
  11. Obey all signage that will be displayed in and around the building at all times.
  12. The number of people allowed in the toilets at any one time will be limited.
  13. Disposable Communion Cup & Gluten Free Wafer packets will be used for Communion, placed on chairs in advance rather than distributed during the service. The packaging can be recycled on exit.
  14. At the end of the service wait for stewards to see you out. Please do not stop to talk to anyone in the church or by the cross – you can chat on the pavement, but not on the church premises
  15. We want to ask people NOT to hug one another in the church building or on the premises, as tempting as that might be for some of us. We say this specifically as we don’t want the fear of unwanted physical contact to keep folks away who would like to join us.
  16. Our gatherings will be livestreamed to Facebook Live and YouTube.  Cameras will be angled only to film those who speak or play music on stage.  General congregation members will not be filmed and we will seek consent from those who are recorded.
  17. Please listen and follow instructions given by the stewards at all times. They are there to protect you and keep everyone safe. Please respect social distancing within the building and when waiting outside to be admitted. 

Please Note: After our church gathering, some folks may choose to move on to a restaurant or pub for a post-gathering meet-up.  No one should feel any pressure to do this unless they are comfortable.  We see this as an independent social gathering, rather than a church-organised event.