Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding provision for public worship at St James’s
[In effect from 25 July 2021—recent changes are highlighted in pink]

When are worship services at St James’s?

St James’s will commence summer service times on 25 July 2021:

Sundays:

  • 8.45am:  45-minute communion service (Common Worship) in the Lady Chapel with in-church congregation, simultaneously online via Zoom and live-streamed on St James’s Facebook page.

  • 10am:  In-person Communion service (Common worship) in the church building. 
    [Much of this guidance regards the Sunday 10am worship service in the church building.]

Wednesdays:

  • 10am: In-person Communion service (Common worship) in the Lady Chapel, and interactive on Zoom and live-streamed on St James’s Facebook page.

 

What are the provisions for transport and parking?  

  • The bus stop across the street from church (labelled ‘Green Street’) is refurbished and back in operation, and the 121, 279 and 307 busses will all stop there. 

Given that there is no longer any street parking on the Hertford Road in front of the church, there are three options for alternative parking:

  • In the car park of the Enfield Highway Community Centre, north and adjacent to the church; most parking spaces are to the rear of the building, but there are two ‘Blue Badge’ spaces nearer the street.

  • More than twenty (20) unrestricted parking spaces—on the street and in two car parks—at Archers Drive (access from Yeomans Lane, second left off Brick Lane), plus dedicated ‘Blue Badge’ spaces. There is a pedestrian short-cut from Archers Drive leading to the Hertford Road by the start of the shopping parade and opposite the Community Centre.

  • Sixteen (16) parking spaces in two car parks accessible from the lane between Durants Park and the churchyard, by the old Bowls Club (on either side of the building).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do I need to do when I enter church?

Those arriving (whether as individuals, couples, or families/households)

  • should check in digitally with the NHS Covid Test and Trace app, using the QR code posted in the vestibule or at the back table. [We will no longer be doing track-and-trace manually on paper.]

  • will be asked to apply hand gel at the back of church 

  • will be invited to take a mask if they didn’t arrive with one

  • will have an opportunity to leave an offering/donation, 

  • will be encouraged to sit as far front as possible, to reduce the number of the people passing each other in the aisles.

[We will no longer be taking temperatures upon entering the church, but those who are feeling symptoms should, as ever, refrain from coming into church for worship.]

 

Will a track and trace system be in operation at church?

Worshippers are encouraged to digitally ‘sign in’ using the official NHS Test and Trace smartphone app (available for Android and Apple).  We strongly encourage people coming into church to download the app and to make use of this. 

[From 25 July we will cease asking for manual track-and-trace forms to be filled out on paper.]

 

What restrictions are there for seating?

  • Most of the pews will be now unrestricted for seating, though we do ask worshippers to maintain a one-metre distance in the pew from those in another household/bubble.

  • There will be three pews available on the pulpit side in the rear, just in front of the font area, reserved for those who might welcome socially distanced seating.

These are the areas that are not available for seating:

  • The upstairs gallery (accessible only when downstairs has reached full capacity);

  • The choir stalls, as they are at a 90° angle to those sitting in the front-facing pews;

  • The rear- and side-facing pews by the baptismal font, as this prevents safe distance from the stewards sitting in chairs in that section.  

  

Will I able to sit in my usual place in church, as I did before lockdown?

Perhaps not, given that

  • we will be encouraging people to sit as far front as possible, and so that the seats may be filled from the front toward the back; and

  • the last three pews on the pulpit side will be reserved for those who wish to sit socially distanced; if worshippers do not require that, we ask that they leave the seats in those pews free, to make them available for those who do.

Do I have to wear a face mask in church?

The wearing of face coverings which cover the nose and mouth are no longer mandated by law.

That said:

  • We will ask that worshippers wear masks as they enter and leave church, and certainly when coming forward for communion. 

  • Once seated, it would be okay to not have a mask on, but given the data about how aerosols (droplets) are spread, if worshippers in the pews are intending to sing hymns, we ask that they have a mask on.

  • We will have a supply of face masks available at church, and if anyone over 10 years of age arrives at church without a mask, a steward will ask if he/she would like one. 

  • All ministers and laypeople assisting in the service up front (e.g. those reading scripture lessons) will no longer have to wear a mask while at the lectern.

  • We will ask that all those wishing to receive communion have their nose and mouth covered by a facemask during distribution.

  • All ministers will be wearing masks during communion, to demonstrate that we are all in this together, so that we may worship safely. 

I find wearing masks uncomfortable—could I attend church wearing a transparent face visor instead?

Visors have been determined to be not a viable alternative to a face covering made of cloth (woven material) that covers the nose and mouth.  That said, if wearing a visor might bring you peace of mind, no-one will prevent you.

 

What provision is there for children?

  • The crèche upstairs will be open again, but families are encouraged to bring their own toys for their children to play.  

  • We are planning to re-launch Junior Church in September, with the start of the new school term.

 

Will we be singing hymns in church?

For the time being, we will have a reduced number of hymns at the 10am service, and for those seated in the pews, we will encourage you to wear a mask if you would like to sing the hymns, as current scientific information indicates that the spread of aerosols (droplets) is far greater when singing, with the risk far higher when there is physical proximity.

 

Can we share the Peace with each other?

For the time being we will continue to encourage people to remain in their pews, and to share the sign of peace with each other without physical contact.  While you may wish to physically share the sign of peace with those in your household, we encourage you to be understanding of others who don’t feel yet ready for direct physical contact.

 

Will there be an offertory collection?

We are grateful for our church family’s continued generosity toward the ministry and mission of St James’s, not to mention to maintain our beloved church building. The collection plates, however, will not be passed around the pews at the offertory, but you are able make your offering in a number of ways:

  • There is a contactless donation terminal in the back as you come into church.

  • Cheques, cash and envelopes can be placed in the collection dish next to the contactless terminal. We have gift aid envelopes on hand that you can take home if you would like to make a donation via cheque or cash.

  • There will be collection plates available on both sides as you leave the church, also to allow you to make a contactless donation.

  • There is provision for online donations via a link on the weekly electronic newsletter and at the bottom the home page of St James’s website. 

  • If you would like to be a regular giver to St James’s via standing order, please contact our Stewardship Secretary, Carol Harvey, at stewardship@stjameschurch.cc.

  

Is the toilet available should I need it?

The toilet remains open; the toilet, basin, and all items that can be touched (including grips and handles) will continue to be sanitised by a steward after every use.

We ask that the area outside the toilet in the vestibule be left clear, to maintain proper distance, and not to hinder access to those requiring it.

 

Will we have access to hymnals and pew sheets?

  • Everything you will need will be projected on the screen, but if you require a hymnal (particularly a large-print one), these will be available at the back of church.

  • For the summer we will only be printing a small number of pew sheets as a trial initiative, and these will be available at the end of the service for those who don’t receive the weekly e-newsletter.  If, however, you require one for the collect and post-communion prayer, please do ask a steward.

 

Can I light a candle while in church?

We will have replaced the candle stand from to the area between the sanctuary and the choir vestry, but we will ask that people light candles from an existing flame, to prevent the over-handling of items.

If there is a particular person or situation you would like us to pray for, please be in touch with the vicar (mobile 07944 25 25 23, or email by clicking here: vicar@stjameschurch.cc).

 

Can we receive communion?

Of course, with the following adjustments:

  • Communion for the congregation will be in one kind (bread only).

  • The elements (gifts) will not be brought up to the altar from the back of church.

  • After the Peace, the minister will receive a head count from the stewards.

  • Those receiving communion should have their nose and mouth covered by a facemask (as before, we are requesting this for children as well).

  • People should come up to the communion rail and be mindful of others, and to leave a bit of distance to those who are not in their household or bubble.

  • There will be hand gel in the centre aisle between the choir stalls; everyone should sanitise her/his hands before coming up the chancel steps.

  • Once at the communion rail, the minister will place bread in all communicants’ hands for the entire row without words; worshippers should refrain from eating the bread just yet, but remain at the communion rail until all have been administered bread.

  • Once all at the communion rail have bread in their hands, the minister will take a step back, say the words ‘The Body of Christ, broken for us all, bring us to eternal life,’ everyone responds with ‘Amen’ and then all receive together.

  • The minister will pronounce a blessing on those who have come forward and haven’t received, and then those at the communion rail will be dismissed together.

I have mobility issues that will prevent me from walking that distance around the church. Can I still receive Communion?

If this is the case for you, please make a steward aware of this as you enter the church building for the worship service.  After the stewards receive, the eucharistic minister will come to the aisle near where you are seated.  You should have hand gel with you, and you should sanitise your hands before receiving a piece of bread (fully masked, please, with arms outstretched). 

If I don’t receive Communion in church, can I receive a blessing instead?

Of course!  Please come to the communion rail, cross your arms over your chest, and after the rest have received, the minister will pronounce a blessing, and then everyone at the communion rail will be dismissed together.

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Can I bring my own wine to church for it to be blessed at the 10am service?

Unfortunately, this is not allowed according to Church of England guidelines, as all the elements need to be blessed by the priest at the altar, and only the priest will be permitted at present to take the chalice in church.

If you would prefer both bread and wine at communion, then you are encouraged to join us online for the 8.45am service, at which worshippers at home are encouraged to have bread and wine for Communion.

 

Can we have individual cups of blessed wine at communion, as some other churches do?

While this is indeed the practice of some churches, this is not the practice in Anglican churches, as Canon Law of the Church of England only authorises the use of a chalice (the ‘common cup’). For the present, communion for the congregation will be only in one kind (bread only).

 

Will there be tea and coffee after service on Sunday morning?

Yes, at both Sunday morning services: 

  • There will be flasks of tea and coffee available after the 8.45am service for self-service. People should place their empty cups and saucers on the cart by the kitchen door when done.  The kitchen is only to be used by ministers and those on the coffee/tea rota, so please don’t wash up your own!

  • After the 10am service, tea and coffee will be available from the cart near the kitchen. There will be a volunteer on hand to provide hot drinks, and cold drinks upon request.

  • For the time being, we will not be offering biscuits with hot drinks on Sunday morning.

  • Moreover, we will ask that families refrain from bringing in cake or other baked goods to church (this will be reviewed monthly).

   

Will the church building at St James’s open at any other times?

  • The church will be open on Wednesdays for 10am midweek communion service in the Lady Chapel, followed by fellowship at the back of church.

  • From 31 August there will also be the coffee morning and open church Saturday mornings.

  • Provision for refreshments will be different from those for Sunday morning, as there will be ‘table service’ via volunteers.

 

What will be the hygiene regimen at church?

  • The toilet will be sanitised by a steward after every use.

  • The pews will be wiped down and sanitised after Sunday worship to prepare the space for our sisters and brothers from the Church of the Pentecost’s Enfield Youth Church.

  • The kitchen will be sanitised at the end of Sunday worship.

  • We ask that worshippers sanitise their hands as they enter and leave the church building, as well as before and immediately after receiving communion.

 

How long will these provisions be in effect?

These provisions will be reviewed monthly by the vicar and churchwardens; the next opportunity will be no later than Friday 20 August.

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