This page has been added since the Government (29th June) and Baptist Union (30th June) has published Guidance on Church Buildings being allowed to open. It is our intention to keep this up to date with news for the Fellowship and visitors with the measures we are putting in place.

Tamworth Borough Council – 5 January 2021

New Lockdown restrictions summary from January 5, 2021 – what you can and cannot do during the national lockdown

You must stay at home. The single most important action we can all take is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

You should follow this guidance immediately. The law will be updated to reflect these new rules.

You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave the home to:

  • shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
  • go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
  • exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
  • meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
  • seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
  • attend education or childcare – for those eligible

Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term. Early Years settings remain open.

Higher Education provision will remain online until mid-February for all except future critical worker courses.

If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local in the village, town, or part of the city where you live. You may leave your local area for a legally permitted reason, such as for work.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. You should not attend work.

This article was added on 5th January 2021

Tamworth Borough Council

Staffordshire to enter Tier 4 – Stay at Home

As from 00:01am on 31 December, Tamworth will be placed into the new Tier 4 restrictions, which comes with a government call for people to stay at home.

Visit this link for full details of what the Tier 4 Level restrictions mean for the area.

This article was added on 1st January 2021

Baptist Union

Coronavirus – essential advice for churches (updated 20 December)

Churches may once again open for worship following the end of the firebreak in Wales and the lockdown in England. Guidance updated to reflect the introduction of tier 4 Covid alert level of ‘Stay at Home’ in England.

You can read or download this document by tapping the link below:

The Baptist Union of Great Britain : Coronavirus: Guidance on church worship (updated 20 December)

This article was added on 21st December 2020

Baptist Union 

The Baptist Union has made major changes to Coronavirus: Guidance on church worship 

  • Version 24: 1 December 2020 (8:20pm) – Clarification in Section 3 regarding singing and bands.
  • Version 23: 30 November 2020 (11:55am) – Major revision of document to reflect revised rules in England from 2 December and in Wales from 9 November

Download a copy from the following link

The Baptist Union of Great Britain : Coronavirus: Guidance on church worship (updated 1 December)

This article was added on the 2nd December 2020

The Baptist Union has made major changes to Coronavirus: Guidance on re-opening Baptist church buildings

  • Version 2.00: 1 December (8:20pm) – Fully revised to reflect the end of lockdown in England and introduction new tiered restrictions.

Download a copy from the following link

The Baptist Union of Great Britain : Coronavirus: Guidance on re-opening Baptist church buildings (updated 1 December)

This article was added on the 2nd December 2020

Government Announcement – New Tier System

On the 26th November 2020 the Government has announced that the New Tier system will come into affect as from 2nd December. Staffordshire has been placed in Tier 3 (Very High Alert).

You can find out what this means by tapping the link below:

Local restriction

This article was added on the 26th November 2020

Baptist Union Update 12th November 2020

Coronavirus: Guidance on re-opening Baptist church buildings

Version 1.28: 12 November (6pm) – Updated to reflect the end of the Firebreak lockdown in Wales and the revised guidance now in force. Removed reference to regional restrictions on the front page as these are no longer in place in either England or Wales. Added a link to the HSE guidance on ventilation

The Health and Safety Executive has produced brief guidance on air conditioning and ventilation during the pandemic – Referred to on Page 9

This article was added on the 13th November 2020

Baptist Union Update 5th November 2020

Updated to reflect the National Lockdown restrictions in England from 5 November until 2 December 2020.

Churches in England should refer to the Government Guidelines for Places of Worship and ensure that they operate within these as a minimum. Please note that the government has announced a 4-week lockdown from 5 November to 2 December 2020. During this time Places of Worship must be closed except for funerals, broadcasting acts of worship, individual prayer and specified other activities. Details of what is permitted during this period are provided on page 6 of this document. The guidance should be regularly reviewed as they are updated frequently. Please note that reference to “Venue Managers” in the Government guidance should be interpreted by Baptist churches as being the church charity trustees, who carry the legal responsibility for the general control and management of the administration of the church.

You can download the essential guide by tapping the link below:

https://www.baptist.org.uk/Publisher/File.aspx?ID=266796

This article was added on the 6th November 2020

Baptist Union Update 1st November 2020

The Baptist Union has added the following guidance since the Government’s announcement of a second lockdown for England from Thursday 5th November 2020.

Following the announcement of a lockdown in England from 5 November, the initial guidance from the Government states:

Places of Worship will be closed, unless they are being used for:

  • Funerals
  • To broadcast acts of worship
  • Individual prayer
  • Formal childcare or where part of a school
  • Essential voluntary and public services, such as blood donation or food banks
  • Other exempted activities such as some support groups

This article was added on the 2nd November 2020

Tamworth Borough Latest Information – Updated 29th October

Tamworth to move into High Alert (Tier 2) along with the rest of Staffordshire

It has been announced that Staffordshire, including Tamworth, is to move into the Government’s Tier 2 High Alert for Covid-19 from 00:01 on Saturday, October 31.

This means it will be illegal for people to meet socially indoors with another household, unless part of a ‘support bubble’. The new rules apply in both homes and public settings such as pubs and restaurants.

High Alert status will be reviewed in 14 days. Read our full news article here.

This article was added on the 30th October 2020

Tamworth Borough Latest Information – Updated 28th October

Staffordshire Set to Move Up to High Alert for Covid-19

Staffordshire is set to move to High Alert for Covid-19, in a bid to stem the rise of cases across the county.

The exact date of when the new measures will come into place has still to be confirmed, but it could be as soon as this weekend. The status of the alert will be reviewed in 14 days. Staffordshire County Council has issued a statement that can be viewed here.

The new restrictions for the High Alert Level will mean:

  • You must not meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless you live with them or have formed a support bubble with them. This includes private homes, and any other indoor venues such as pubs and restaurants.
  • You must not meet indoors with people in any other alert level, including those living in a lower alert level.
  • You may continue to see friends and family you do not live with outside, including in a garden or other outdoor space. When you do so, you must not meet in a group of more than six. The “Rule of Six” includes children of any age.
  • You can still travel to other areas, but you are advised to limit your trips as much as possible.
  • You should not visit relatives in care homes unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Full details of the guidance can be found here

Find out more about the measures that apply in high alert level areas to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Find out more about the measures that apply in very high alert level areas to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

This article was added on the 29th October 2020

Tamworth Borough Council Latest Information – Updated 13th October 2020

Local COVID alert level is medium for Tamworth area.
This is for areas where national restrictions continue to be in place.

This means:

  • You must not socialise in groups larger than 6, indoors or outdoors (other than where a legal exemption applies)
  • Businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-secure manner, other than those that remain closed in law
  • Certain businesses are required to ensure customers only consume food and drink while seated, and must close between 10pm and 5am
  • Businesses selling food for consumption off premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as it is delivery, click-and-collect or drive-through
  • Schools and universities remain open
  • Places of worship remain open, subject to the rule of 6
  • Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on numbers of attendees
  • Exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors, or indoors if the rule of 6 is followed

More information can be found at the government website here:  Measures that apply in medium alert level areas.

Find out more about the measures that apply in high alert level areas to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Find out more about the measures that apply in very high alert level areas to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

You can follow Tamworth Borough Council Covid-19 updates by tapping the link below:

https://www.tamworth.gov.uk/coronavirus-public-health-information

This article was added on the 14th October 2020

Coronavirus: Guidance on re-opening Baptist church buildings

Updated 1st October 2020

https://www.baptist.org.uk/Publisher/File.aspx?ID=258760

Section 3: General practices for attendees

Following the introduction of the “rule of 6” you should not allow groups greater than 6 individuals to arrive and enter the building together, unless they are all from a single household. Children under 11 count towards the 6 in England, but not in Wales. Even where a group arrive together, they should social distance between different households.

Section 4: Managing Arrivals at the Building

Churches are strongly encouraged (but not obliged) to generate an official NHS QR code for your building (one for each building if you have more than one) and display this on posters at each entrance. You can do this on the UK government website. This QR code will allow people to check in at your building and log their visit using the NHS COVID-19 app. Churches should still request collect contact details from those using the NHS QR code to check in.

Section 5: Operating Church Services and Church gatherings

The government guidance for both England and Wales advises that social interaction in churches beyond household groups should be limited wherever possible, including discouraging engagement in conversation beyond a household or the group of 6 or less in which someone arrived. We therefore must advise against holding times of fellowship before or after church services to minimise virus transmission risk. We suggest you encourage attendees to leave promptly after any event.

Appendix 2: Pre-event checklist

Has the usual church cleaning checklist been completed and cleaning materials put in place?

Appendix 4: Example privacy statement

Data that is collected in a place of worship and might subsequently be shared is considered to be special category data, and therefore we need your consent to record, store and to share your contact details with NHS Test and Trace if necessary. By providing your data you are consenting to it being used in line with this privacy statement. You are free to refuse or withdraw your consent at any time. In the event you do not wish to provide your contact details you will still be able access …………………Baptist Church.

This article was added on the 2nd October 2020

Guideline Leaflet L18: Covid-19 Coronavirus Legal Issues

https://www.baptist.org.uk/Publisher/File.aspx?ID=248869&view=browser

Updated 1st October 2020

Page 5 – CIGA extension does not apply to AGMs

This article was added on the 2nd October 2020

Guideline Leaflet L18: Covid-19 Coronavirus Legal Issues (Page 5)

29 September update includes Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act extension to 30 December. The extract is shown below:

The 30 September deadline has now been extended to 30 December 2020. For those forced to postpone AGMs due to be held after 26 March, there is a limited period in which to hold those AGMs before 30 December. The 30 December end date may be extended again by additional Secondary Legislation.

This article was added on the 30th September 2020

They have created a section on New Job Support Scheme dated 29092020

The link to the page can be found here:

https://www.baptist.org.uk/Articles/589101/New_Job_Support.aspx

This article was added on the 30th September 2020

NHS Track & Trace QR Code

As from the 24th September all places of Worship must register and display the NHS Track & Trace QR Code.

We have displayed ours on the welcome station at the front door and near the rear door entrance ways for you to scan. If you enter the building you should scan the QR Code if you have a smartphone and have downloaded the App from Google Play or the App Store. We will continue to use the booking system when you enter the building or when you come to a service.

You will need Android 6.0 or later for Android phones, or iOS 13.5 or later for iPhones.

This article was added on the 25th September 2020

Baptist Union – Guideline Leaflet L18: Covid-19 Coronavirus Legal Issues

22.09.20 – The rule of six and church meetings – Change to Page 4

Charity Meetings – the rule of six. The government has introduced new rules which mean that from 14 September 2020 it is against the law to meet in groups of more than 6, either indoors or outdoors. However, there are some exceptions where groups can be larger than 6 people and this includes providing voluntary or charitable services. This means you can hold trustee or members’ meetings of more than 6 people where these meetings are necessary to further the charitable objectives of your church.

This article was added on the 23rd September 2020

22.09.20 – Rent Concessions in Commercial Leases Change to Page 10

Rent Concessions in Commercial Leases These are difficult times for many businesses. Whilst business rates relief and Government financial support packages may help some stay viable, many may struggle to pay their rent. Often Leases do not contain ‘force majeure’ clauses which are used in other types of contract to cater for events beyond their control that may make performance of the contract impossible. Furthermore, traditional lease rent suspension clauses are unlikely to cater for the Covid-19 pandemic. The landlord’s usual remedy of forfeiting the lease for non-payment of rent or other sums due under the lease is suspended until 31 December 2020 and this date may yet be extended by the Government. Nevertheless, rent will still accrue during this period and be payable by the tenant (usually with interest) unless there has been some contrary agreement between the landlord and the tenant. In the circumstances, the most pragmatic solution may be to negotiate a realistic plan for payment with the tenant. The Government has published a voluntary Code of Practice for commercial property relationships during the pandemic which encourages a collaborative approach between landlords and tenants where tenants are struggling to afford their rent and service charges. It can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/code-of-practice-for-the-commercial-propertysector/code-of-practice-for-commercial-property-relationships-during-the-covid-19-pandemic

This article was added on the 23rd September 2020

COVID-19: guidance for the safe use of places of worship during the pandemic

Updated 17 September 2020

 17 September 2020

Updated guidance for the safe use of places of worship to incorporate changes in the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 2020 which came into effect on 14 September 2020.

Meeting other people in places of worship

From Monday 14 September, when meeting friends and family you do not live with (or have formed a support bubble with) you must not meet in a group of more than 6, indoors or outdoors.

This is against the law and the police will have the powers to enforce these legal limits, including to issue fines (fixed penalty notices) of £100, doubling for further breaches up to a maximum of £3,200.

For more information, see the meeting with others safely (social distancing) guidance.

There are several exemptions specifically for places of worship, set out below. You should still socially distance from people you do not live with (or have formed a support bubble with).

Whilst engaging in an activity in the place of worship or surrounding grounds, all parties should adhere to social distancing guidelines at all times, even within a group of 6. This means people should be 2 metres apart or more than 1 metre apart as well as taking extra steps to stay safe (such as wearing face coverings) to reduce the risk of transmission.

This article was added on the 23rd September 2020

Baptist Union updates 17th September 2020

Guidance on re-opening Baptist church buildings

Version 1.21: 17 September (4:20pm) – Updated links on cover page to local lockdown restrictions in England and Wales.  Updated section 3 to reflect the lack of clarity over larger gatherings in public outdoor spaces.  Updated section 4 to reflect updated requirements for collecting data and displaying a QR code for checking on the NHS Test and Trace app. Updated text in Section 6 relating to reflect revised guidance for community buildings.

Guidance on church worship (17 September)

Version 15: 17 September 2020 (4:10pm) – Changes in What is Allowed, and in Weddings in light of face coverings becoming mandatory in Wales.

Children’s, youth and families ministry

Version 1.7: 17 September (4:05pm) – Caveat added under General Guidance about face coverings. More detail included about toddler groups.

The updates were added here on 18th September 2020

Baptist Union Updates – 10th September

Coronavirus – essential advice for churches (updated 10 September)

Guidance for churches

**September 10 update ** The government have not yet updated the guidance for places of worship in England, however in essence the changes will make very little difference to the guidance we’ve already published.

Activities within the church including worship should continue to observe social distancing requirements for all those from different households or bubbles. The upper number set by the capacity of your building while maintaining social distancing, will remain as before. The key exceptions being weddings and funerals where the maximum of 30 remains.

The government have produced a new brief guide on meeting with other people safely see here.

For other activities in your buildings we recommend that you view the community facilities guidance which has been updated see here. We strongly recommend that contact details are recorded for 21 days for NHS Test and Trace in line with the advice to all Covid-19 Secure organisations.

For children’s and youth groups we are still working to the Out-of-school-settings guidance which has not as yet been revised since 20 August, see here. So our own existing guidance on group sizes (15 max) remains, see here .

We await any updates to this guidance also. Home groups can meet, socially distanced up to 6 people, for larger groups use church or community buildings who are adhering to COVID-19
secure guidelines.

Version 1.20: 10 September (4pm) – Updated Section 3 to reflect the new guidance on social distancing that applies from 14 September and updates on use of outdoor spaces. Updated Section 4 to reflect the new legal force around collection of data for Track and Trace from 18 September.

This article was published on the 11th September 2020

Coronavirus advice: Children’s, youth and families ministry

  • Version 1.6: 10 September (4:10pm) – Minor revisions throughout reflecting UK Government’s changes to social interaction guidance so that no more than 6 people from different households may socially interact whether indoors or outdoors. Note that each person should still remain physically distant from anyone from another household.

This article was published on the 11th September 2020

Baptist Union Updates – 3rd September

Coronavirus: Guidance on re-opening Baptist church buildings

Version 1.19: 3 September (4:10pm) – Minor updates to cleaning guidance in section 2 and Appendix 3 to make clear that Appendix 3 only applies to cases where coronavirus contamination is suspected.

Coronavirus advice:
Children’s, youth and families ministry

Version 1.5: 3 September (12pm) – Removal from General Guidance of requirement for maximum group size to be six when off premises – NYA guidance, signposted by the Government, says group size may be 15 indoors or outdoors.  Addition to General Guidance of permission for singing in children’s and youth groups under certain conditions.

This article was published on the 6th September 2020

Baptist Union latest update to the essential guide

Version 1.17: 20 August (3:30pm) – Updated section 5 and other areas that referred to this section to reflect new rules on music groups leading worship. Revised formatting of hyperlinks to be consistent throughout the document.

Coronavirus: Guidance on church worship (20 August)

Version 11: 20 August 2020 (3:30pm) – Addition to the Introduction of permission for a small number of singers to sing in front of a congregation indoors or outdoors in England; Inclusion under Weddings of renewed permission for receptions of 30 people in England; Inclusion under Weddings and Funerals of probably permission in Wales for receptions and wakes of up to 30 people from 22 August. Inclusion under Baptisms of permission for baptism by immersion in Wales. Addition of a new section on prayer meetings and homegroups.

This article was published on the 21st August 2020

Coronavirus advice: Children’s, youth and family’s ministry

The UK Government published guidance on Protective Measures for Out-of-School Settings on 1 July. There is some related Guidance for Parents and Carers of Children Attending Out-of-School Settings. ‘Out-of-schools settings’ (OOSS) includes extracurricular clubs, uniformed organisations and religious settings offering instruction. We take this to be relevant for Junior Church groups, youth clubs, Boys’ and Girls’ Brigade, holiday clubs and the like. However, this applies only in England as in Wales, church building are not yet open for general meetings.

This document includes safeguarding, general guidance and further thoughts and ideas to share with your church.

Version 1.2: 13 August (4:15pm) – Extensive changes to the Introduction to clarify what is possible for under-5s; Additions to General Guidance about children under 5, singing, drama, music and face coverings; Expansion of Messy Church section with ideas for a way of meeting.

The link to download or read through is shown below:

https://www.baptist.org.uk/Articles/582740/Coronavirus_advice_Children.aspx

This article was published on the 15th August 2020

Version 1.16: 13 August (4:10pm) – Minor wording updates throughout for clarification and elimination of typographical errors. Integration of Welsh guidance into section 3, 4 and 5 in the document Updated section 3 to reflect Shielding being paused in England. Updated section 5 to give more detail on what to do in the event of a visitor to the church premises subsequently testing positive or developing symptoms.

The link to download or read through is shown below:

https://www.baptist.org.uk/Articles/582203/Coronavirus_Guidance_on.aspx

This article was published on the 15th August 2020

Version 1.15: 11 August (11:15am) – Update Section 3 Confirmation of guidance regarding the use of masks which was issued by the Government on 7 August.  Update Sections 5 and 6 regarding the process to follow should a member of your congregation or visitor to your church test positive for the virus.  Addition of Appendix 7: Press Release regarding Track and Trace.

The link to download or read through is shown below:

https://www.baptist.org.uk/Articles/582203/Coronavirus_Guidance_on.aspx

This article was Published on the 12th August 2020

Version 9: 5 August 2020 (12:45pm) – Further clarification that we anticipate that there will be an exemption for the bride, groom and minister from wearing a face mask at a wedding.

The link to download or read through is shown below:

https://www.baptist.org.uk/Articles/582206/Coronavirus_Guidance_on.aspx

This article was Published on the 5th August 2020

From the 8th of August Face covering is mandatory for anyone attending Church.

On the 31st July the Baptist Union updated their guide for churches.

In England, the Government are now advising that face coverings are used by all those attending church regardless of the distancing. They will be mandatory in places of worship from 8 August. Young children and those with respiratory conditions are excluded from this as in all cases where face coverings are otherwise expected. In Wales, face masks remain optional if 2m distancing can be maintained. But as this is difficult to achieve at all times within a church building, we recommend you consider asking your congregation to use face coverings in Wales also.

This article was Published on the 1st August 2020

Church Services Wearing of Face Covering 

The Baptist Union has updated their guide In England, you must wear a face covering when attending Church Services. The extract to section 3 is shown below:

Updated Section 3. Please note that in England face coverings should be worn in a place of worship even if 2m social distancing can be maintained.

This article was Published on the 28th July 2020

Wearing of Face Covering

The Government has stated In England, you must by law wear a face covering in the following settings:

  • Public Transport
  • Shops and Supermarkets as of 24th July 2020

Guidance and exceptions can be found on their website.

This article was Published on the 15th July 2020

Return to Church Survey and Secretary Report

Today we circulated a return to church survey and a report from Bev as church secretary which included an update to the Government and Baptist Union guidance on the Coronavirus and return to congregational worship.  We have asked for the survey to be completed by the fellowship no later than the 31st July in order for the leadership team to meet on line in August to then look at planning our next steps.

This article was Published on the 10th July 2020

Church Services 

As you will be aware from media reports, the Government has lifted some restrictions on Church Services from 4th July.  The Government advice issued 29th June and the BU advice issued 30th June is being considered by the Deacons.  Now that we have the information on what is allowed and measures we need to undertake, we can begin a risk assessment to ensure all the necessary measures are in place and how these will be managed.  This is not a return to public worship, as we will need to know who is attending and numbers will need to be restricted to places available once socially distancing is taken into account.  A questionnaire is being  prepared for members of the fellowship to express their views on how and when services should resume. Some Baptist Churches have decided not to resume services until September, others are moving to resume as soon as possible. Any decision taken by TBC will take into account views of the membership.  The BU advice is available on the BU website should you wish to view this.

This article was Published on the 1st July 2020