Updated: Apr 21
In accordance with the "COVID-19 Permitted Activities under national ‘Step’ Regulations", public worship in church, churchyard or other premises where church services are routinely held is permitted as ‘communal worship’ provided that any person attending is alone or part of a group all from the same household or from two linked households; and must not join any other group or mingle with any person from another group.A statutory risk assessment must be carried out and all reasonable measures taken to limit risk of transmission of coronavirus. Our risk assessments can be downloaded at https://www.otterystmary.org.uk/file-share, from the 'Risk Assessment' folder.
Since 12th April, we have re-opened our church building for Sunday services at 10 a.m. We also have a service of Morning Prayer at 08:30 a.m. on Wednesdays.
We will also be continuing with our current church opening for private prayer, on Wednesday and Friday mornings from 10 am to noon (see below) and we are very grateful to the people who enable this to take place each week, as well as for those creating our online reflections.
Safety measures - services & private prayer in the church
Appropriate safety measures will be in place in line with C of E guidelines. These include hand-sanitizers, restricted areas of the church being available, a one-way system to reach and leave open pews, removal of some contents (hymn books, bibles, kneelers etc) and cleaning. Unfortunately we are unable to open the toilets, apart from the disabled toilet.
For each opening occasion, a Steward will attend to guide those who wish to attend
For private prayer, anyone wishing to attend is asked to respect the privacy of anyone else present, and must abide by appropriate social distancing.
YOU MUST ALSO WEAR A MASK before entering the building, unless you hold an exemption
Big thanks are due to those who are preparing the church building for this, and to those who are stewarding and cleaning.
For some this will be a welcome opportunity. Others will not yet wish to enter a church building, or be able to do so. It’s entirely your choice, there is no pressure.
Weddings & Funerals
Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people, and it is advised that only close friends and family attend. Linked ceremonial events such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 6 people in attendance. (Anyone working is not included in those numbers). Social distancing of at least 2 meters should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.
Weddings in church are now permitted provided the gathering consists of no more than 15 persons.A statutory risk assessment must be carried out and all reasonable measures taken to limit risk of transmission of coronavirus
You may be rightly concerned about a baptism or wedding that you have booked, or wish to book this year. Please email the church office (email@example.com) or phone between 10am and 12 noon (01404 812062) for the latest information and for help if you need it. If you receive an answerphone message, please leave your contact details for us to get back to you.
Though, sadly, our beautiful church building is closed for any other activities until further notice under the current restrictions, people from the church are still active and open to any way we can help you if you need it.
If you are lonely and would simply like to talk to someone, please do get in touch.
In the meantime, be assured that prayers are being offered for our community by the churches in Ottery.