Easing of Restrictions after 19th July

Watch a video to explain the new guidance, at the bottom of this page.

From 19th July, the UK government has lifted national restrictions, including social distancing and the use of facemasks.  In churches this allows the return of worship in a similar pattern to that which we knew before the pandemic. 

Whilst this will be a welcome to some, it may be a concern to others because of the removal of masks and singing.  These changes are laid out below, and the whole concept of how we worship together from now is to emphasis a care and respect for each other, and how we conduct ourselves in worship with consideration for others. 

As with the broad national approach, individual responsibility is now the central theme.  The church leadership and church council have considered how best to proceed, with a balance of care and the need to try to return to normal. 

As usual, our regular service pattern provides a weekly 8:00am holy communion, a midweek Thursday 9:00am holy communion and the continuation of Live Streaming.  Each of these services retains distancing and no singing.

Almost all of the changes are in the context of a 10:00am service of Holy Communion:

  • The service layout for the 10:00am services will now return to four sung hymns, and a sung Gloria.
  • As you arrive, please continue to use the sanitiser hand gel, which will be available.  No booking-on is necessary, you may come unannounced to any service.
  • The north side half of St Bartholomew’s church (what you might like to call the pulpit side) will be seated as socially distanced, for those who wish to sit that way.  The south side of the church will be fully flexible without seating restriction.
  • All collections of envelopes or cash will now be as you enter the church.  The vast majority of givers do so directly from their bank.  The passing around of the collection during the service will now not take place.  There is a contactless device for donations in both churches.
  • For the present, the peace will remain as now with a friendly wave and a nod.
  • At the reception of the Holy Communion, please continue to approach the celebrant down the central aisle to receive the wafer.  If you wish to receive the wine of holy communion from the common chalice, you may then turn left to receive before continuing down the side aisle and back to you seat.  Please do not dip you wafer in the wine.  If you do not wish to receive the wine of holy communion you may turn right down the opposite side aisle to return to your seat.
  • Refreshments will be provided after the 10:00am services, with tables for seating, but also now allowing open space for standing and circulating.


It will take time for these changes to settle down.  Since March 2020 we have had considerable variation in the pattern and content of worship, which we now hope to settle into a permanent state.  As always, your goodwill and cooperation are much appreciated.


Last updated 22nd July.