Wednesday 6th April
With effect from Monday 4th April there is no longer any legal requirement for us to wear face coverings whilst in church. However, the Church of Scotland have issued guidance saying that due consideration should be given to this, along with other mitigations, to help reduce the rate of infection. After prayerful consideration both Kirk Sessions have agreed that it is a matter of personal choice whether or not individuals wear face coverings, acknowledging that there will be some who will choose to do so and others who will choose not to. What we would ask is that due consideration and respect be given to all, particularly in terms of where we sit in the sanctuary. Again, there is no longer any legal requirement to maintain social distancing but please respect those who may like to have some space. In Bendochy Church there is plenty of space to allow for some form of distancing between people and in the Abbey Church the seating has also been arranged to allow for this. Finally, please continue to sanitise your hands on entry to and exit from the Church.
Thursday 17th March
The latest update from the Scottish Government has removed many of the Covid restrictions that have been in place for some time now. However, importantly, the legal requirement to wear face coverings in indoor public places will remain for at least another two weeks, with the next update due on the 29th. This means that we will be continuing to wear them in church, including whilst singing, for a short while yet. Given the recent rise in case numbers and hospital admissions, this is understandable, but the hope is that at the beginning of April this will change. After Monday the 21st there will no longer be a requirement to take contact details of those coming to church, however, other measures such as hand sanitising on entry and exit remain in place.
Wednesday 9th February 2022
The restrictions that were put in place in December have now been largely lifted, however, the use of face coverings, good hygiene etc still remain in place. Social distancing is no longer a legal requirement, however, the guidance offered by the Scottish Government and the Church of Scotland states that we should encourage some degree of spacing between seating etc in our churches and ensure that there are no choke points in respect of members of the congregation moving around the church. To that end the seating at the Abbey has been rearranged such that for most rows there is a space of 1m between seats and 2m for the front row. The seats in each row are arranged in pairs, again at 1m spacing and 2m spacing on the front row. In addition to this there is some seating down the side at 2m spacing. In total this gives us a capacity of 100 for the Abbey Church. Bendochy Session have now carried out a similar assessment and have a capacity of 144, although would encourage all who come to worship to maintain a 1m spacing between one another where possible.
It has now been almost 2 years since the start of the pandemic, a pandemic which has not only tragically claimed the lives of so many but which has also impacted upon all our lives in some way. Our thoughts and prayers are with all who have lost loved ones and with those who even now are still suffering the effects of long covid, and with all who have played such an important part in trying to help us all through these last two years. Please remember them all and please continue to pray for them and for all in our community at this time.