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  • Banbridge Road Presbyterian Church

    Banbridge Road Presbyterian Church, Church Office 028 9269 8258 Dromore, Co Down BT25 1AD Minister Rev J G Trueman BA BD Email:[email protected] Clerk of Session Alan Robinson Website: Registered Charity in NI: NIC105222

    25 Beresford Green DROMORE Co Down BT25 1HF

    1 July 2020

    Dear member,

    Resuming Activities on Church Premises Update We have all missed the routine of gathering together on Sundays for worship and the various activities during the week. We miss the sense of community and the shared experience of worshipping and studying together. We are thankful to God that during the lockdown we have been able to use technology continue to meet ‘virtually’ on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evening prayer times. As a Kirk Session we very much appreciate how Rev Trueman, Lena, Philip, the Ark and SNATCH leaders, the musicians and the technology team have all adapted to the situation and we continue to be richly blessed through the work they are doing. As you are aware, the NI Executive has relaxed the restrictions on congregations gathering for worship services. We recognise that many members are keen to start meeting together again whilst others are nervous and worried about the consequences of gathering in larger groups. Undoubtedly many churches, including some in Dromore, will resume services in the coming weeks. As a Kirk Session we have reviewed the latest updates from the NI Executive and the guidance issued by the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and how they impact our particular circumstances in Banbridge Road. The key points of the guidance are summarised below:

    • Social distancing should be maintained at the optimal 2 metres, with only members of the same household sitting together;

    • Social distancing of 4 metres from those leading from the front should be maintained; • Congregational singing whilst not prohibited should be limited – ‘less rather than more, softer rather than

    louder, listening to some and singing some’; • Keep a record, including contact details, of those attending services or meetings in the event of contact tracing

    being required; • Enhanced cleaning regime required especially if any part of the building is to be used more than once in a 72

    hour period; • For churches with a gallery avoid using the front row.

    It is worth noting that as of 1 July, the restrictions for weddings and funerals have not changed as a result of the relaxed guidelines. The Presbyterian Church has also produced a comprehensive check list to be followed before recommencing any activities on Church premises.

  • Our main Church building has the capacity to seat approximately 360 people and our typical Sunday morning attendance pre-lockdown was about 300 people. As the two diagrams attached show, the impact of the social distancing requirements means our seating capacity is reduced to about 20% or 70 people including the Minister, a musician (in the Apse) and the technology team. To make this work would mean:

    • Introducing a booking system to limit the numbers attending and record contact details; • Individuals / households would be assigned a seat(s) to ensure social distancing; • Social distancing would need to be maintained while entering and leaving the premises and in the car park,

    etc; • Participation in singing would be very limited; • No refreshments available before or after the service; • Toilet facilities would be limited.

    The Kirk Session also considered using the Halls for overflow, however, should we wish to resume some form of children’s ministry during the service to allow parents to attend worship the Halls would not be available for overflow. Based on the above, there is a considerable effort required to enable any resumption and even then it would be a very reduced form of worship with strictly limited numbers able to attend. As a result, the Kirk Session believe that now is NOT the time to attempt to resume activities including Sunday services on the Church premises. The Kirk Session will continue to meet over the summer to keep the situation under review, particularly if the social distancing requirements are further relaxed, and to look at opportunities for smaller groups to meet socially. Also, we plan to involve representatives from the various organisations to look at the practicalities for the resumption of activities by each organisation. In the meantime, we encourage everyone to make use of the services each Sunday, the ‘Thought for the Day’ on Thursdays, the daily verses and to join in the Zoom prayer meetings on Wednesday evenings. Please continue to pray for our country, our leaders, the Church and in particular the Kirk Session and the leaders of the various organisations in Banbridge Road as we look ahead and plan for the future. If anyone needs to talk to someone or needs practical help with shopping, collecting medication etc please contact the Church Office: 028 9269 8258 or [email protected] Finally, the Apostle Paul in Romans 8 v38 & 39 reminds us that in Christ and because of His love, ‘that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord’. In Christ we have a sure and certain hope in these difficult and challenging times. Yours in Christ’s service, Alan Robinson Clerk of Session

  • (not to scale)

    Choir R oom

    M inister's R

    oom ▲


    4 3

    2 1

    1 1

    2 2

    3 3

    4 4

    5 5

    6 6

    7 7

    8 8

    9 9

    10 10

    11 11

    12 12

    13 13

    14 14

    ▼ ▼

    A ccess routes

    A vailable seat

    Seat not available due to 2m social distancing

    D isabled Seating A


    Sound D esk (w

    ith perspex screen)

    V estibule

    Ground Floor Seating Plan

    A pse &


    Pulpit & Steps


    O rgan Pit

    1 1

    2 2

    3 3

    4 4

    4 5

    6 6

    7 7

    8 8

    Access routes Available seat Seat not available due to 2m

    social distancing

    ▼ ▼


    Gallery Seating Plan (not to scale)