Leadership in Lockdown

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The Journey Out of Lockdown in Wales (Webinar)

A webinar and Q&A to discuss and explore the Welsh Government's guidance for church buildings in Wales to reopen.


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Now that the Welsh Government has given guidance for churches in Wales to reopen their buildings after lockdown, church leaders in Wales can begin to plan for their congregations to meet again.

This webinar was hosted by Jonathan Thomas, pastor at Cornerstone Evangelical Church in Abergavenny, and he was joined by John Stevens (FIEC National Director) to explore the Welsh Government's guidance for church buildings reopening after lockdown. Jonathan, Pete Campbell (Capel Fron, Penrhyndeudraeth), and Steve Levy (Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, Swansea) also shared their churches' plans for responding to the new guidance.

00:00 - Opening prayer (Pete Campbell) nb. Pete's devotional from God's word was lost due to internet connection issues.

01:25 - Summary of Welsh Government guidance for places of worship (John Stevens)

25:59 - Three churches explain their approach to ministry after lockdown

  • Jonathan Thomas, Cornerstone Evangelical Church, Abergavenny (25:59)
  • Pete Campbell, Capel Fron, Penrhyndeudraeth (29:26)
  • Steve Levy, Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, Swansea (31:50)

34:22 - Q&A

  • How will you deal with people who arrive at church unexpected without booking?
  • Is social distancing just for indoor meetings, or for outdoor meetings, or for both?
  • Should preachers be behind a plexiglass screen?
  • How long should a church leave between services?
  • Does social distancing negate the need for test and trace?
  • Will the Government review the maximum number for outdoor meetings?
  • Are hand dryers okay for hand-washing?
  • Will guidance on professional singers in England be adopted in Wales?
  • How can we pastor our churches who still want to sing?

Key comments

  • The Welsh Government has given special exemption from lockdown restrictions to places of worship;
  • 2 metre social distancing in required indoors and outdoors (maximum of 30 gathering outdoors, no limit for indoors);
  • Services should be as short as possible, music should be quiet with no singing or chanting;
  • Food & drink should be avoided unless integral to worship - in which case there are hygiene-related restrictions;
  • Hand-washing or sanitisers required on entry and exit, frequent cleaning of the venue required between uses;
  • Vulnerable individuals may attend 'for their wellbeing', so social distancing is very important;
  • There is no specific guidance for youth and children;
  • The recommendation of the Welsh Government is to avoid meetings and broadcast online if possible.

Further resources

  • Guidance on reopening places of worship: coronavirus (gov.wales);
  • The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 2) (Wales) Regulations 2020 (gov.wales, PDF);
  • Working safely during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak (hse.gov.uk);
  • Evangelical Movement of Wales webinar: TeamTalk - 'The mechanics of re-opening' (youtube.com)
  • A COVID-19 Risk Assessment Template (fiec.org.uk);
  • Coronavirus (Covid-19) guidance (churchinwales.org.uk).

You can watch or listen to other webinars and sign up for future ones on the Leadership in Lockdown page.

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