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Re-opening Preview

St. Paul’s Anglican Church will be reopening for worship on Sunday September 13, provided we are able to meet all the regulations and guidelines provided by and Diocese of Toronto (in consultation with the Public Health and the Government of Ontario) for a safe reopening.

We know that you have many questions about coming back to church. We have tried to answer some of the most common ones for you below:

St. Paul’s Anglican Church will be reopening for worship on Sunday September 13, provided we are able to meet all the regulations and guidelines provided by and Diocese of Toronto (in consultation with the Public Health and the Government of Ontario) for a safe reopening.

We know that you have many questions about coming back to church. We have tried to answer some of the most common ones for you below:

1. What actions are being taken to provide a safe environment, and what changes should we expect?

The Diocese has issued detailed and specific guidelines to provide a safe environment. Some of the changes include hand sanitizing; social distancing; wearing of masks; changes to seating arrangement; limiting attendance to 30% capacity; changing how we take communion; no choir; no passing of the Peace or Offertory Plate; no Coffee Hour; and thorough cleaning and sanitizing of the church between each service. By following the Guidelines, we will be able to welcome everyone back, as safely as possible.

2. Will St. Paul’s still offer services at 8 am and 10 am on Sunday and a service on Wednesday? Will Wednesday Bible Study resume?

We are currently working on the details for all services to ensure we are following the Diocesan Guidelines and can perform the necessary cleaning/sanitizing. We will be conducting a survey of our parishioners to determine how comfortable people are returning to worship and to solicit preferred forms of service (Eucharist/Morning Prayer) and preferred service times. Wednesday Bible Study will not be resuming at this time.

3. Do I need to wear a mask to church?

Yes! The law requires a mask be worn indoors. Masks will be available for those that need one.

4. Will there be Church School for the children?

Church School will not be offered at this time. As per the Diocesan Guidelines, children are to sit with their parents. The Soft Space at the back of the church will not be available. Parents are welcome to bring snacks or quiet activities for their own children.

5. How will taking communion be different?

During the Eucharist the Priest will consecrate both the bread and wine but will distribute only the bread. Communicants will line up and stand to receive the bread. Specific instructions on how to receive Communion will be given during the service.

6. Will there be music and the Choir at the 10am Sunday Service?

Music will be provided by our organist, but there will be no hymns or congregational singing. Services will be said rather than sung. Some special music may be provided by a soloist or a small ensemble.

7. How will seating be handled to ensure proper social distancing?

As St. Paul’s has pew-chairs, we have been able to position the chairs so that each row is spaced two metres apart. The church can now only accommodate roughly 45 people per service. To ensure social distancing, the Sidespeople will seat parishioners as they arrive, so you may not be seated in your usual spot. Every attempt will be made to ensure you are comfortable.

8. Will walkers and wheelchairs be allowed in the church?

Absolutely. Every effort will be made to ensure you are safe and comfortable.

9. Will washrooms be available?

Yes, the Narthex washroom will be available. We ask that you adhere to the guidelines posted for proper hand washing and cleanliness.

10. Will there be contact tracing?

What information will be collected and how will it be used?

As per the Diocesan Guidelines, we are to keep a Contact Tracing Logbook for all attendees at each service. Names and phone numbers will be collected, kept private and used only for contact tracing, as required by Public Health.

11. Is St. Paul’s planning a special event to welcome Rev. Chris Parsons and his family?

We sure are! Watch for dates and details coming in the next couple of weeks. Rev. Parsons is excited to begin his ministry and to meet and welcome everyone.

In the coming days we will be contacting you through an online survey or phone call to determine your comfort level in returning to worship. We will also give you choices regarding times and types of services you would prefer to attend. This will also be an opportunity to ask any further questions which you may have. We will then gather these questions and send out a follow-up FAQ email. We look forward to once again coming together as a community to worship, praise and give thanks to our Lord God for all his many blessings!

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