Re-opening Indoor Meeting for Worship at Brigflatts Meeting House
We wish to welcome Friends back to indoor Meeting for Worship following this procedure for reducing the risk of transmission of COVID 19 at Brigflatts Meeting House. (Updated 18.6.2021)
If Step 4 of the raising of restrictions takes place from July 19th 2021, this procedure will be amended.
This process has been guided by information from Britain Yearly Meeting – Quaker Life and government guidance on Places of Worship.
Brigflatts Friends are mindful of the local community and wish to act as responsibly and safely as possible in the context of the Covid pandemic. The maximum allowed inside the Meeting House will be 16 to assist safe spacing. A rota of welcoming Friends will be agreed each week by communication with Elders. Brigflatts Friends are asked to volunteer. Welcoming Friends will ensure that they know the procedure below and how to unlock the Meeting House. (A member of the Premises Committee, Peter Stevenson or Janet Chetwood can be contacted if there is doubt about unlocking.)
- Friends are asked to pre-book their attendance for each Meeting for Worship by phoning our Elder, Peter Stephenson on 01539 625357. Visitors from outside the Area Meeting will use the website contact form to make a booking and a website manager will communicate with Peter. This is to ensure we do not exceed safe occupancy numbers.
- Children will need to be cared for by their parents.
- Friends are asked not come in person to Meeting for Worship if it is suspected they may have been in contact with the virus or are unwell. Friends should not visit if they are shielding or have a serious underlying health condition, which means that they are particularly vulnerable to COVID 19. They should not attend if they have been contacted by the Test and Trace scheme, even if they have no symptoms.
- The number of cars will be limited by encouraging as many Friends as possible to park in Sedbergh or some distance away and either walk to Brigflatts or use bicycles. There is a parking space opposite Rosebank for those with limited mobility and also space for dropping off and picking up. Otherwise, visitors should park in the layby at the top of Brigflatts Lane.
- When parking and approaching the burial ground, paddock, gardens and Meeting House, Friends are asked to maintain a 2-metre distance from other Friends from different households. This applies to getting out of cars and walking down the lane as well as approaching the outdoor areas and the Meeting House.
- Windows of the building will be open to ensure a free flow of air. It is quite likely to be cold in the Meeting House so Friends are encouraged to wear/bring warm clothes, including hats and gloves.
- All gates to different areas and the main door to the Meeting House will be kept open to minimise the risk of contact and transmission of the virus.
- Hand sanitiser will be available and should be used on entering the grounds of the Meeting House.
- Depending on expected numbers, there will be at least two members /attenders from Brigflatts Meeting to welcome Friends. Welcomers will greet with a smile but ask whether Friends are feeling well in order to check for Covid symptoms.
- All names and contact numbers of Friends attending Meeting for Worship will be recorded by welcomers. Friends will be asked to contact Peter Stephenson should they subsequently become ill with Covid-19 so that appropriate action can be taken to inform other users and Track and Trace. This record will be dated and kept for 21 days in the black book, which is kept securely under the stairs in the Meeting House.
- Masks must be worn indoors, including when giving ministry. Given that Covid is spread by droplet and breath, we suggest Friends consider the advisability of wearing a face mask when outdoors although this is not mandatory. (spare gloves and masks will be also be available on request. These are kept in a black box under the stairs in the Meeting House.)
- Seating in the Meeting House is marked to ensure Friends sit 2 meters apart unless sitting in a family group.
- There are 16 places available inside. Welcomers will guide Friends into the meeting room keeping 2 meters distancing. The most able bodied are asked to use the gallery first. The flow required to the gallery is up the left – hand side of the stairs and return on the other side. If sitting on the ground floor, Friends are asked to fill up the furthest areas first.
- Friends should bring their own copies of Quaker Faith and Practice, Bible etc if they wish to use these
- The Meeting for Worship will be brought to an end by an agreed Friend in the group standing and drawing the Meeting to a close.
- After Meeting, there will be an opportunity to give notices and share news (e.g. up to 15 minutes) but we will do this while remaining in our seats, masked and socially distanced as before.
- Friends are welcome to bring a drink or a flask if required. There is no access to the kitchen or any of its equipment.
- Friends will leave the Meeting House in the reverse order. Once Friends have left the building they are asked to move away from the entrance and are welcome to have conversations in the garden, suitably distanced.
- Access to the inside toilet needs to be from the outside by the back door because the library area is unsafe for access during building works. All toilets will need to be cleaned immediately after use.
- We are asked to remember there can be no hugging, touching and shaking hands except within the same household. Please keep a two-metre distance where possible at all times.
- Any gate areas or doors which have been touched will be sanitized.
- In the case of a medical emergency, gloves and masks will be worn. The ill person will be made comfortable, and help called for. If anyone is taken ill during Meeting with what may be Covid19, a Friend in PPE will stay with them until they can be got home.
This list of procedures will be sent to all Brigflatts Friends by the Communications Clerk, along with regular reminders and updates. We are all asked to familiarise ourselves with each bullet point. Friends from outside Brigflatts Meeting who wish to attend will also be sent the procedures.
- Jenny Pearman (Trustee)
- Peter Stephenson (Elder)
- Dorte-Lis Stephenson (Premises)
- Janet Chetwood (Communications Clerk and Website Team)
- Date: 18th June 2021