Use of premises for worship after coronavirus Shutdown Risk Assessment
The purpose of this Risk Assessment is:
- To prevent the spread of Covid 19 by reducing or controlling potential risks.
- To promote the safety of individuals attending Beacon Park Baptist Church.
- To comply with government guidelines for places of worship.
1/ Avoiding contact with coronavirus sufferers
- Persons should not attend church services if they are suffering from raised temperature, new persistent cough, loss of taste or smell or other respiratory infection or if they have had contact with anybody suffering with coronavirus. The church services will continue to be available via zoom and/or YouTube can be accessed via a link on the church website.
Visitors will be asked to give their name and contact details for purposes of the ‘test and trace’ procedures. They must confirm in writing that they are not suffering from a raised temperature, new persistent cough, loss of taste or smell or have any other respiratory infection or have had any contact with anyone suffering from coronavirus. Details will be retained for 21 days.
- Current Government guidelines state that people over the age of 70 and those who are shielding should continue to stay away from places of worship, but if they do attend, they must take careful note of the need for social distancing. They are encouraged to access the zoom or YouTube services.
- Congestion must be avoided in the entrances, vestibule, aisles, toilets areas or exits. It may be necessary to wait in a socially distanced queue within the church premises until safe to proceed.
- A one-way system will operate to avoid the need to ‘pass’ other worshippers. Only one outer door will be open on arrival. Chair-barriers and floor tape will be in place across the vestibule. The door steward(s) will direct worshippers to seats in accordance with the one-way system. Worshippers will leave by the opposite door.
- To avoid the need for queuing in restricted spaces only the toilet near the front kitchen will be used. The door steward(s) can give directions to the individual toilets at the rear of the church building, if required, one of which is designed for people with disabilities.
- To enable the 2-metre social distancing rule to be always observed during the services the pews have been spaced appropriately. The resultant maximum downstairs capacity of the main sanctuary is 35worshippers.
- To enable optimum seat use, seats will be allocated at each service and it may be necessary to sit in a different place on each occasion. It will help if households sit together, and that front rows are used.
- If children need to leave the service, they should be taken by an adult from their household to the side children’s room where social distancing should be observed. All soft toys and furniture should be removed from this area.
2/ Avoiding cross-contamination from surfaces
- Hand sanitiser stations will be provided for use on entry and exit and must be used by every worshipper on entry and exit from the building.
- Hymn books and Bibles will be provided separately for the morning and evening service and these will be quarantined for 48 hours before and after each service. Worshippers must collect upon entry and leave in the pews upon exit following the service. Worshippers are welcome to bring their own Bibles and hymn books provided they take them home after each service.
- All personal belongings must be removed from seats after each service.
- The kitchen and all potential communal areas will be out of bounds.
- No food or drink will be allowed in the services. Sweets or biscuits will not be distributed to children.
- For observance of the Lord’s Table, elements will be covered and non- communal and will be served by a deacon wearing gloves. Care must be taken not to touch any tray surfaces. Individual cups should be left in the pews afterwards.
- Gloves and wipes will be provided so the toilets can be cleaned after each use. (Please could adults from the same household escort children under 12 years of age to ensure this is carried out). Handwashing is essential before and after use of the toilet(s).
- Pews, chairs, door handles and other potential contamination points will be cleaned after each service.
3/ Avoiding airborne transmission of coronavirus
- Singing and any musical accompaniment must be avoided. Pre-recorded hymn singing will be provided.
- Worshippers will leave promptly and not form groups inside or outside the church premises.
This Risk Assessment will be subject to continuous review in the light of prevailing official guidelines and local circumstances.
Version 1 – 04 July 2020