As you will know by now, our government has significantly eased restrictions on meeting and as such we are able to take the next step in our planned return to church. Our plan was to return to church as soon as we could have 60 people in the building, something that is now possible. We praise God that we have the opportunity to come back together as a church again! There are still a few things we need to get ready before we can open to ensure that we also remain COVID-Safe at Wonga Park and so we wanted to share with you all our plan to now get back to church in person.

Return to church date:
We will be back in church on the 13th of December. While we could technically go back this weekend, there is still a fair bit of work that needs to be done at the church to get the church ready. We are also waiting for our new camera to be delivered so that we can continue live-streaming our services once we are back, particularly to those who don’t have the capacity to join us in person. The 6th of December is our carol service, which has all been pre-recorded, so the 13th is realistically the first day we can go back in person.

What to expect:
Church will be a little different from what you would be used to.

• When you get to church, you will be required to sign in. We will have multiple sign in clipboards for you to use after sanitising your hands. There will be someone to greet you at the door and help you get signed in. As per our current restrictions we will be required to wear our masks while indoors.

• One of the things you will notice immediately as you enter the church is that it has been painted. You will also notice that we have rearranged the chairs to allow us to have as many chairs in the auditorium as possible, while remaining socially distanced. The church now has a central walkway, with chairs on either side. The chairs are also well back from the stage for social distancing reasons.

• Families will be seated together, but we will be asking those who are not together as family units to sit one 1.5m away from other congregation members.

• You will also notice that we have some additional tables in front of the sound booth. This is part of our audio-visual upgrade and gives us the space we need to do our live-streaming.

• After church we will not be serving any coffee as of yet. However, we won’t be ushering you out of the building as soon as the service ends. We want to encourage you to meet and greet your fellow church brothers and sisters afterwards, although we recommend doing so outside.

• We can currently have a maximum of 70 people inside our auditorium. We will have “overflow” seating available in the hall where we can fit an additional 38 people socially distanced. We will also open up the sides of the church so that if needed, any additional congregational members will be able to join from outside. It is possible that by the 13th of December restrictions may have relaxed even further, in which case some of these social distancing requirements won’t be necessary. We will keep you up to date as the situation progresses.

Please note that we will have baptisms on both the 13th of Dec, and the 20th of Dec. Depending on the restrictions, we may have to reserve some seating for family members. We will again keep you up to day about this as the situation progresses.

In the meantime
While we wait to go back to church, we want to encourage you to continue meeting together in your growth groups, although it may be time for your group to meet back together in person. While we recognise that every group’s situation will be different, we want to support our groups to meet together most effectively. So if you would like to talk through what the best options for your group might be, drop me a line and I can help you get set up.