This paper is being updated to relate to the use of Christ the King Church by the Eastbourne Ordinariate Mission. The church is used by the diocesan parish but this paper does not specifically apply to them. The order of points in this paper follows the order of points in the Government guidance for re-opening places of worship.

This protocol remains under review and will be updated in line with the changing situation.
From 12 April, Eastbourne is in a “Step 2” area within the release timetable.

We remind worshippers of the government’s rules on association.

At Step 1 in the release timetable:
groups within the church can only be an individual household or support bubble.
At Step 2 (the current step):
groups within the church can only be an individual household or support bubble.
At Step 3 (expected to be from 17 May until all restrictions are lifted on 21 June):
up to six people can join a group within the church. More than six people can form a group if there are only two households or support bubbles represented.

We remind worshippers of the “1m+” social distancing with face coverings which applies between the groups within the church.

We have completed a risk assessment (see below) and adopted practices (listed here) which are intended to reduce the likelihood of contracting Covid-19.

There are no other similar venues re-opening in the vicinity.

Worship practices are adapted according to the Bishops’ Guidance for the Celebration of Mass as mediated through the Liturgical Directory in Divine Worship; the General Instruction to the Roman Missal; and Church law and instructions.

We continue to stream worship events, to continue to reach those who are self-isolating or particularly vulnerable.

No items such as icons and the like are handled communally.

Reusable resources such as hymnbooks and lectionaries are withdrawn and replaced where possible with single-use worship aids which are clearly marked to be taken away or disposed of by the individual worshipper.

Communion from the common cup is withdrawn; the ciborium containing wafers for consumption by the people remains covered while the words of consecration are spoken. Communion in one kind (via individual wafers) is distributed solely by the priest celebrant having cleansed his hands immediately beforehand. If there is accidental contact between the priest and communicant, he will immediately cleanse his hands again. No face-to-face responses are made at communion. If, exceptionally, another ordinary minister of communion assists in the distribution, the same practices apply.

Music is essential to an act of worship and is sung unaccompanied by cantor(s) suitably distanced from the congregation. The congregation is distanced and not facing one another, but congregational singing is strongly discouraged.

Holy water stoups are emptied.

Cash donations are permitted into a suitable receptacle and held for at least 48 hours before being counted. Cashless donation is possible.

Young people are the responsibility of their parent or guardian.

The church has an NHS venue QR code. We also provide the opportunity to contribute to the NHS Test & Trace service and keep an accurate temporary record of visitors for 21 days, in a way that is manageable in our setting, and we assist NHS Test & Trace with requests for the data which worshippers have provided, if needed for contact tracing and the investigation of local outbreaks.

We remind worshippers of the requirement (with exemptions and exceptions) for face coverings to be worn.

Social distancing and capacity are managed by passing on the Government guidance for distancing between individuals and groups, households or support bubbles, including via advice from stewards. Chairs for groups/households of varying sizes are positioned to allow social distancing. The church will be declared full once it is not possible to accommodate attendees with appropriate distancing. A one-way route into, out of, and within the church is operated, and some routes (eg through the church hall) are locked and marked out of use to facilitate this. Emergency use is maintained. Where possible, windows and doors are opened to allow increased ventilation.

People who are symptomatic of Covid-19 are not allowed to enter the church. The liturgy is live-streamed (where this is possible) to allow remote participation.

Individuals who are self-isolating are expected to follow the Government guidance applicable to them.

Hand sanitiser is available at the entrance to and exit from the church and worshippers are encouraged by signage and stewards to sanitise their hands.

One toilet is available. Hand sanitiser, running water and soap, and hand dryers are available. The toilet is cleaned thoroughly by stewards after the liturgy.

The diocesan parish cleans the church on a regular basis in order to kill the virus as it has come into contact with surfaces. Additional cleaning using proprietary cleaners is carried out as necessary.

Individuals who exhibit symptoms, or who are shielding, or who become unwell, or who aged 70 or over, or who are extremely clinically vulnerable, are expected to follow Government guidance applicable to them.

These principles are publicised on our website, and at the church in individuals’ worship aids and by using standardised signage.

Risk assessment

Risk: Contact with coronavirus leading to infection causing illness
Severity: 4 (High) (Major injury/damage/disablement; medium-term interruption to public worship within the Mission)
Likelihood: 2 (Unlikely) Level of infection is just over 0.20 per thousand (20 per 100,000).
GOV.UK: 10 positive tests in the borough between 2 and 9 April†
Estimated 21 active cases in the borough‡
The number of cases is too low for R to be calculated reliably.
Population of the Borough of Eastbourne: around 104,000 people.
Risk indicator/priority: 8 (Medium)
Controls in place: As detailed above. Mitigating the existing risk is intended to lower the figure for “likelihood” and thus the risk indicator.

Risk/Priority indicator key

This is derived from that published by the Diocese of Portsmouth

  • Severity/Consequence
    1 Negligible (no injury/damage/interruption; possible delay)
    2 Slight (minor injury/damage/interruption)
    3 Moderate (injury/damage; short-term interruption)
    4 High (major injury/damage/disablement; medium-term interruption)
    5 Very high (fatality; long-term interruption)
    1 Improbable/very unlikely
    2 Unlikely
    3 Even chance/may happen
    4 Likely
    5 Almost certain
  • Risk/Priority indicator matrix
    Severity → 1 2 3 4 5
    Likelihood ↓ 1 1 2 3 4 5
    2 2 4 6 8 10
    3 3 6 9 12 15
    4 4 8 12 16 20
    5 5 10 15 20 25
    Summary Suggested timeframe
    20+ Unacceptable Stop. Take immediate action
    12–19 High As soon as possible
    6–11 Medium Within the next three working days
    2–5 Low Whenever it is viable to do so

  • Positive tests by specimen date. Latest available data; numbers might increase.
    Previous seven-day periods: 32, 43, 32, 16, 17, 48, 49, 106, 177, 377, 654, 937, 1080.
    Active cases are those resulting from a positive test in the last ten days, but there may be double-counting.
    Previous seven-day levels: 47, 63, 43, 22, 32, 73, 97, 166, 336, 615, 1059, 1341, 1449.
    * Rt is a simplistic calculation of Nt+10/Nt+5 where N is the seven-day average number of new cases at ten and five days after date t. Smoothing takes the mid-point of a five-day average of Rt around date t. This calculation of Rt is not predictive.

    KCL/ZOE data differs from PHE data and currently estimates 53 active cases (0.5 per 1000).
    Previous seven-day periods estimated 59, 115, 495, 116, 112, 299 and 154.