Plans for re-opening the Meeting House are under way

The Meeting House: empty now, but (maybe) not for much longer…

Chris White writes on behalf of Elders:

We are writing to share with you the planning process for the re-opening of 43 for Meetings for Worship, especially in the light of the news from the Government that places of worship can re-open from July 4th. 

Before we can re-open we will need to have in place measures that enable social distancing as well as increased hygiene facilities.  Alongside this we will need to have a new team of welcomers to advise Friends who are returning to worship in the Meeting House.

Elders, alongside the Office team and other members of the Meeting, have been planning for this, and we are currently waiting for the publication of further guidelines from the Government before we can complete our plans. Once these are finalised they will then need to be approved by our Trustees before we can set dates for when our various Meetings for Worship can recommence.

Once we have approval from Trustees we will be able to publish a timetable for the reopening of 43, along with details of the changes Friends can expect to see at the Meeting House. A training and familiarisation event will also be organised for Friends who have volunteered to be welcomers prior to our reopening.

What do Friends think about returning to 43?

During June, the Meeting surveyed Friends in order to gain an indication of how many would be minded to return to Meetings for Worship in 43, with appropriate social distancing and hygiene measures. A total of 89 responses was received; from the analysis we have concluded that:  

  • Some Friends are interested in returning as soon as possible to Meetings on Sunday (both times), Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
  • Other Friends are more cautious and would prefer a ‘paced’ return to MfW over several weeks (all times).
  • Children’s Meetings can restart, dependent on pacing and organisation from Children’s Committee (CYPC).
  • A pleasing number of Friends are willing to act as welcomers.
  • Nearly a third of respondents wish to continue worshipping at home; we will therefore need to continue with Zoom meetings.