To open or not to open, that is the question
As you are probably aware from the news, we are in an ever-changing state of change because of Covid 19. “Sadly, one of the main ways in which COVID-19 is spread is through socialisation, such as simply being close to someone and chatting with them and hence for this reason, such forms of socialisation are currently heavily restricted, including at church services. For a church like Harrowby Lane, where socialisation is a big part of the welcoming atmosphere we foster, this presents significant challenges to meeting together in person.”
So what happens next?

The rules and guidelines from the Methodist Church and Government are quite specific on what can and cannot be done. Here is a flavour of some of the changes:
• Capacity restrictions in the church will reduce the number to about 20 initially
• Masks are mandatory, by law.
• Singing is not allowed.
• You will be asked to remain in your seat, and not mingle or chat with others.
• The service will last about 30mins
• The building will look quite bare, as we will have removed excess furniture, books etc to aid cleaning (see pictures below of how the building now looks and how it will be when we restart worship)
• You will be asked if we can store your contact details for “Track and Trace”

We realise this all sounds very disheartening. As the Leadership team and subgroup team we will be monitoring Government and Methodist guidance regularly, and updating our actions as required. At the moment, guidance is changing every couple of days, so it really is a moving finish line.
There will continue to be provided multiple ways for all of us to access some worship: Facebook, Zoom by computer or telephone, DVD.
We have listened to your questions about reopening, and we do understand how very hard it is for many, especially those who feel more isolated. We know you want to be back at HL, chatting, worshiping and shaking hands. Unfortunately, we are bound by Government restrictions, Methodist Guidance and our own conscience, to keep everyone safe.
The latest Situation – we are looking at what action can be done for limited opening sometime in September – but this is unlikley to be on a Sunday Morning.
How Harrowby Lane Church may look after re-opening