Tag: COVID-19

Book Now for Church on Sunday 9th May

For the Kenneth Street services on Sunday 9th May and onwards, these will now be taken by Lorraine Shewan. The preferred method of contacting Lorraine is by email on stornowayfreechurchbookings@outlook.com. She can also be contacted by text or telephone on 07720321081. Bookings for each week should be made no later than 6.00pm the previous Friday. When booking by email please make clear the service or services you want to attend and the names and contact telephone number of everyone attending from your household. If you are making a booking for someone who is not a member of your household you should point this out at the time.

Bookings for the Seminary. Those wishing to book a seat at the Sunday services in the Seminary should contact Elizabeth McGowan on 07900586930 or by email to liz17263@yahoo.co.uk and should be done no later than 6.00pm on Saturday.

Please familiarise yourselves with the following which applies to both places of worship:

  1. Everyone is encouraged to arrive early to allow time for cross-referring with the bookings list and to give those on duty sufficient time to ensure that everyone is correctly seated. Please use the hand sanitizer facilities on arrival.
  2. Handshaking is not permitted, masks must be worn and social distancing must be observed.
  3. Those attending the services at the Kenneth Street church, in particular, are encouraged to be patient. For all of us, this is a new and untested arrangement and it will take a week or two for it to settle into a routine.
  4. For Test & Protect details, it is now a requirement to list the name and contact telephone number of everyone attending a place of worship and not just the lead person as was the case until recently.
  5. Bibles and Psalm books have all been removed for public use but you can take your own Bible or use a downloaded copy.
  6. Congregational singing should continue to be avoided.
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Church Services Resume: Important Information

Since 26th April the restrictions on numbers attending places of worship is no longer capped at 50 but is still subject to 2metre physical distancing between households. Capacity is now determined by the size of a building and on how many people attend on their own or in larger household groups. Children under 5 are not counted in determining the number of people who can be accommodated.

Taking social distancing into account, the number that can currently be safely accommodated in the Kenneth Street church is 120; 60 on each floor. For the Seminary the number is 75. For both places, the number will be reviewed regularly and adjusted as attendance patterns become clearer.

The Kirk Session has decided that from Sunday 2nd May the services will be as follows:

Kenneth Street - English Services at 11.00am at 6.30pm.
Seminary (Francis Street) - Gaelic service at 11.00am.
(This will be a joint service with the High Free Church)

Bookings for Kenneth Street services - change to current arrangements: Bookings for the services on Sunday 2nd May only should be made with Alasdair Macleod (Elder) as per the email address and telephone number previously issued.

For the Kenneth Street services on Sunday 9th May and onwards, these will now be taken by Lorraine Shewan. The preferred method of contacting Lorraine is by email on stornowayfreechurchbookings@outlook.com. She can also be contacted by text or telephone on 07720321081. Bookings for each week should be made no later than 6.00pm the previous Friday. When booking by email please make clear the service or services you want to attend and the names and contact telephone number of everyone attending from your household. If you are making a booking for someone who is not a member of your household you should point this out at the time.

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Return to In Person Church Services

Wednesday 31st March – Prayer Meeting Resumes in Seminary

Now that restrictions on attending places of worship have been eased, the Kirk Session has agreed to recommence meeting for prayer in the Seminary on Wednesday evenings, beginning on 31st March 2021 at 7.30pm. For the benefit of those who are not able to attend, the Zoom arrangement will continue as before with the same login details.

Sunday 4th April – Lord’s Day Worship Services Begin in Seminary for three weeks
The Kirk Session also agreed to recommence services of worship on the Lord’s Day. The first of these will be an English morning service in the Seminary on 4th April at 11.00am. This arrangement will continue for three weeks after which it will be reviewed in anticipation of a morning Gaelic service being held in the Seminary and an English service being held in the church on Kenneth Street.

New YouTube Channel for Seminary Services
The Lord’s Day services from the Seminary will be live-streamed on YouTube. We have set up a new YouTube channel specifically for services broadcast from the Seminary. Simply go to YouTube.com and search for ‘Free Church Seminary Stornoway’ or Click here.

Please note that there are now separate YouTube accounts for the church and the Seminary. They are named as follows:
For the Church on Kenneth Street - ‘Stornoway Free Church
For the Seminary on Francis Street – ‘Free Church Seminary Stornoway

 

PRACTICAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE RETURN TO CHURCH SERVICES

As required with all public buildings during the current health crisis, all the necessary hygiene and social distancing requirements have been addressed to ensure everyone’s safety. Attending the services will be quite different to pre-lockdown arrangements and it’s important that those who plan to attend familiarise themselves with the following:

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Due to the Western Isles moving into Level 4 lockdown, please note that the Church hall will NOT be open on Saturday 30th January to receive freewill offering envelopes.


Please also note that Wednesday prayer meetings will no longer take place in the Seminary but will be online only.


Take care and stay safe

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Beloved friends,

As your ministers we want to thank you for your continuing support and encouragement. It means so much to us. As the congregation continues to experience restrictions associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, we regret that it has not been possible for us to return to our church buildings for public worship. Although we are glad for the online facilities that enable us to maintain gospel services, and greatly encouraged and thankful that so many are participating in these, we long for the day when we can return safely to meet in our church buildings. While some congregations have decided to return to the use of church buildings, in our own case the logistics of doing so are challenging, to say the least. In any case, it would be imprudent for us to return given the sharp increase in Covid infections over the past few weeks and with an outbreak also in the Western Isles currently being dealt with.

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Dear Friends,

We appreciate how difficult the past months have been for you all. The restrictions that have been in place over the Covid-19 pandemic, while for good reasons of health protection, have nevertheless imposed a curtailment of the services and activities we loved and enjoyed together. Now that we are seeing an easing of the restrictions, we hope that we can soon resume our use of church buildings again. Meantime, we wanted to inform you about the present situation and how we see the way forward, having met as a Kirk Session on Tuesday 14th July.

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