Guidelines, policy, Protocol, and procedure to
prevent the spread of Covid-19 in our place of worship.
Unit 4 Dartmouth Ind. Centre
Kylemore road. Dublin 10
The return to place of worship/church safely and safety of our congregations is paramount to us as the nation is being re-opened and places of worship can now facilitate worshipping together physically.
In order to ensure each member’s safety while attending the church we at GFM Ireland- The Overcomers have developed the following Guidelines, Protocol, policies and procedure which is designed to support Ministers, Leaders, Workers and Members to adhere to measures in place which will help in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our place of worship.
- Covid-19 Advisory Committee
- Service time/duration
- Entering the Auditorium
- Within the Auditorium
- Youth/Children Dept
- Seating plans
- Social distancing
- Facilities Cleaning
- After Service Gathering
- Parental responsibility
In the light of the current Covid-19 crisis every areas of business, lives, economy including places of worship in the country has being significantly impacted. Although the road ahead is uncertain but we at GFM- Overcomers remains focused on the safety of our members and the community. We are working continuously with our team of pastors in following the department of health and HSE guidelines in promoting health and safety of our members.
This policy, protocol and guidelines will help us to:
- Provide needed and relevant information re: Covid-19 lock down easing off.
- Provide guide to members on how to avoid spread of Covid-19.
- Ensure each members’ safety while attending church environment.
- Help to stimulate members compliance to local and national guidelines regarding Covid-19
FOCUS AREAS IN DETAILS
- Covid-19 Advisory Committee: The board of trustees and National Pastors Forum will arrange a committee which will comprise of five to seven, this will include members from healthcare background to examine, implement and evaluate Covid-19 protocols, guidelines and procedures and members’ adherence to implementation.
- Service time/duration: Due to national advice to minimize length of time in staying in potential crowded places, we have reduced the duration of Sunday service significantly to one hour and thirty minutes and mid-week service has now been moved to Wednesdays on Zoom Meeting. As improvement develops on easing of Covid-19 we will update on several weekly/monthly meetings.
- Two Services on Sunday: Due to government regulation of not gathering of people more than 50-100 people at a time, the church will operate two services on Sunday for the month of July and August. The first service will be between 10:30-12:00pm and second service between 12:30- 2pm.
- Personal wellbeing: We strongly advise that anyone with health challenges stays at home and join the on-line services. Likewise, we sincerely request that if at any time anyone feels unwell with any symptoms of Covid-19 such person should refrain from attending the church premises so as to avoid passing the virus to others.
- Entering the Auditorium: There will be a queuing system outside to manage entry into the church. Please bear in mind that this is due to the implementation of additional safety measures of hand sanitising, handing over of facemask, offering envelopes and church materials. We understand that queuing times will be a little longer and we will appreciate your patience and understanding during this time.
- Within the Auditorium: We have put in place virtual reminders of personal responsibilities to be aware of Covid-19, write-up posters to maintain safe distance from other members, to use the face masks where its impossible to maintain 2 metre distance, to make use of hand sanitizers located at strategic areas of the auditorium and parents to maintain responsibility of their children while in the church premises. We ask that our members and families continue to follow the COVID-19 guidelines as shared by the HSE and DOH.
- Sitting plans: In light of easing of Covid-19 restrictions, family members are allowed to sit together including their children youth or infants while individuals from another household must observe social distancing. Seats will be arranged with social distancing in mind. We implore each member to corporate with the working ushers who will allocate each member/family to designated sitting areas.
- Social distancing: Write-up posters to maintain safe distance from other members can be seen within and outside the church auditorium as a virtual reminder to avoid physical touching, maintain cough/sneeze etiquette and to use the face masks where it’s impossible to maintain 2 metre distance. While we know that socialising is part of our Sunday worship, we strongly advice that members disperse quickly after service and avoid undue clustering at the auditorium and carpark grounds.
- Worship/Singing: Personal protective effects such as face mask, face shield and individual microphones will be provided for the members of the choristers. While each member will be encouraged to use their face mask during singing/ worship experience.
- Tithe/Offerings: As we know that giving/offering is an integral part of our worship will continue to accept cash donations into the baskets which will be placed on the altar area. Where possible, we would accept cashless payments by Visa card readers to reduce the amount of contact between you and our working ushers.
- Facilities Cleaning: As you might expect, for added comfort and safety of each members we will ensure safety precautions, extra cleaning and sterilising to make the whole auditorium, restrooms, door handles and surface areas as safe as possible. According to HSE stay safe guideline for indoor gatherings, eating and drinking will not be permitted in the church auditorium.
- . Hand sanitisers: Will be stationed throughout the church auditorium, hallways and upstairs with proper washing hand basins, and litter bins within the restrooms and other service areas to facilitate personal hygiene. We encourage parents to monitor their younger children when using these facilities.
- . After-Service Gathering: We will not encourage our members to participate in any social gathering after the service until further notice. Sadly, we will not be able to accommodate after service counselling section at this time. This is to ensure that we avoid communal transmission of Covid-19. Counselling slots are available from Tuesday-Friday this can be pre-booked with the church office on 016236838
- Childcare/Parental responsibility: The children’s department of the church will remain closed until physically possible to maintain the children’s social distancing. We will continue to work in partnership with DOH and TUSLA to receiving guideline in relation to childcare matter. Meanwhile, parents should maintain responsibility and safety of their children while attending church. Children with special need will remain in the sole care of their parents while attending the church. We will not under any circumstances permit parents to drop off their kids unaccompanied to the church for service during this period.
- Youth/Children Dept: The youth department will maintain its own procedures for operation and reopening (see youth Policy). However, the youth will remain with their parents in attending church service at the auditorium as the youth department remains closed until the foreseeable future.
The Church trustee and executive board of pastors believe that maintain the safety, health and comfort of each member at this crucial period is of pivotal priority. We therefore solicit the cooperation, patience and understanding of each member as we begin to re-open the church for physical worship experience. We are confident that the most important worship we can all give God is the reference that comes from an obedient heart and a humble spirit.