Back to Church | St Peter's Great Berkhamsted

The Church of St Peter Great Berkhamsted

Back to Church

Following recent government and Church of England announcements, the doors of St Peter’s are open again for public worship on Sunday mornings.

We have special arrangements in place to protect everyone’s health during the Coronavirus pandemic, and these are explained below. In order to comply with social distancing guidance, we have capacity for 100 people. This means that some people may be sitting in the Lady Chapel or in the choir stalls which have no view of the altar. Please book your space in advance to help us to manage numbers.

Please take some time to read the guidance below carefully. We appreciate that this is a lot to take in. The stewards will be on duty on Sundays to help you and to ensure that your experience of attending St Peter’s is as safe and as regular as possible.

We will be continually monitoring and reviewing our Sunday morning worship so as to ensure we meet your welfare needs most appropriately.

With kind regards

Fr Simon, Assistant Curate
Tim Hennessey & Mark Grego, churchwardens

Guidance for Worship

Entry will be via the main west door only. If you need level access via the south door or a wheelchair space, please let the Parish Office know by Friday.

  • Please arrive in good time. The doors will open from 9.00 and the congregation must be in their seats by 9.25 to prevent any bottlenecks or compromises to our social distancing.
  • Please queue along the south side of the church along the pavement, next to the low wall. Please observe social distancing. Chalk markers on the pavement will indicate 2m spacing.
  • The toilets and the Court House will remain CLOSED. There will be NO access to the toilets before or after the service.
  • Please ‘check in’ with the steward on arrival. Government guidance includes a request for the names of all attendees to be recorded and kept for 21 days to assist NHS ‘track and trace’ if required.
  • You will also be asked to sanitise your hands on arrival. Face coverings are optional but advised.
  • Seating: please wait at the west door until a steward is available to direct you to your seat. We will be filling up from the front of the church and spacing groups out according to social distancing guidance. Once seated please remain in your seat throughout the service. Households or support bubbles should arrive and sit together.
  • Hymn books and service sheets will be found on your seats. These must be left in the pews at the end of the service.
  • Face masks: The Church of England have updated their guidance and strongly advise that face coverings should be worn by all those attending a place of worship, including ministers, worshippers, staff, volunteers, contractors and visitors. A face covering is something which safely covers the nose and mouth. You can buy reusable or single-use face coverings. You may also use a scarf, bandana, religious garment or hand-made cloth covering but these must securely fit round the side of the face. Please could all those attending on Sundays ensure that they bring a face covering. Those exempt are:
    • young children under the age of 11
    • not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
    • if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
    • if you are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
  • Children: The children’s corner will be closed. Children will need to remain in the pew with their households throughout the service.
  • There will be no singing. The hymns and the service setting will be played on a backing track and you may hum along quietly. Responses will be spoken. Please do not raise your voice or – perish the thought! – shout!
  • There will be no sharing of the peace.
  • Communion will be taken by the priest only. The congregation may join in spiritual communion by saying the words on the printed sheet which will be available in your pew.
  • Offertory: A cash collection will not be taken. However, should you wish, giving may be done electronically as you leave St Peter’s; the contactless terminal will be available at the back of church. You can also make a donation by text message using your own mobile phone.
  • If you become unwell with symptoms of COVID-19 in the church, you should alert a steward before going home immediately, and are advised to follow the stay at home guidance. If you need clinical advice, you should go online to the NHS 111 website (or call 111 if you don’t have internet access).
  • Departure: If you would like to leave immediately after the final hymn, please stand.  A steward will indicate when you can leave.  If you would like to stay to listen to the organ voluntary, please remain seated and stewards will come and collect you at the end.
  • It is imperative that you leave your hymn book and service booklet in your place at the end of the service, where it will be left untouched for the rest of the week, allowing it to be free of any possible contamination by the following week.
  • Please exit immediately via the west door and sanitise your hands.
  • To prevent bottlenecks, the priest will not be meeting people as they leave. If you have any pastoral concerns or need to see a priest urgently, do however ask a steward to fetch the priest on duty or contact Fr Simon on 01442 864199.
  • There will be no coffee after the service. The Court House will remain closed with no access to the toilets.
  • Once you’ve left the building, please ensure you maintain social distancing and don’t gather in large groups on the church steps or car park, to ensure all can exit safely and quickly.
  • Those at extra risk, including the over 70s and the “clinically extremely vulnerable” are reminded of the risks of attending public worship, but we leave the decision whether or not to do so in their hands.
  • If you are “shielding” and are not attending church in person, we will continue to videostream the service live online so you can participate at home. Service sheets are sent out by email each week.