Sunday, September 20, 2020 – 9:30 a.m.

These months that we, the church community, have not been able to meet face to face have been difficult and we are all looking forward to coming back. But we are returning to a new reality, so please take the time to review this information to help make meeting together again as safe as possible.

Welcome back! Here is what to expect

Before you arrive

  • Bring your own mask. If you don’t have a mask, or forget it, disposable masks will be available at the entrance to the church.
  • In order to help ensure the health and safety of everyone who comes to our service, the church building will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized before and after each service.
  • Before you attend a service, please screen yourself for COVID-19 symptoms. If you feel unwell or are in a high-risk group, please stay home.
  • The number of people is limited to 50 (including clergy and other participants). Only people who have pre-registered online (www.BackToChurch.ca) or by calling the church office (613.232.4500 extension 25) will be permitted entry to the service.
  • All prayer books, hymn books and soft furnishings have been removed.
  • When you register you’ll be asked to provide your name, and your telephone number or e-mail address. We are required to collect this information to help with contact tracing in case someone is later found to have COVID-19.

When you arrive

  • Please arrive in advance of the service, entering via the Bell Tower door. You will sign-in with the registrar at the door.
  • You will be asked if you have any COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to anyone who is ill in the last 14 days. If you have, you will not be admitted to the service.
  • There will be hand sanitizer dispensers at the entrance of the church. You’ll be asked to sanitize your hands on entering the church.
  • Please sit in one of the designated places. We advise you to sit with those who are in your social “bubble”, i.e. family members. The centre pews are 12 feet long, so there’s room for a couple or family to sit on the end and still maintain an appropriate distance from others. Some side pews are also available.



During the service

  • Physical distancing must will be maintained at all times. There must be no touching at any point before, during or after the service.
  • An offering plate will be available as you enter the church but it will not be passed during the service. We encourage on-line donations as a safe way to make your offering: www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/28160
  • The congregation is not permitted to sing.
  • Only the priest will administer the Eucharist. She will sanitize her hands several times both before and after the distribution of communion, which will be by wafers only. The priest will come to the pews to administer to each individual.

After the service

Following the organ postlude, the ushers will indicate the flow of people to exit through the West Door onto Elgin Street, starting at the back of the church, keeping aware of physical distancing.

Other notes

  • Only the nave and the restrooms will be open. The rest of the building remains closed.
  • To keep everyone safe and healthy, you are asked not to gather in the building before or after the service and to maintain physical distancing at all times.
  • Please don’t feel obliged to return to in-person worship if you don’t feel ready to do so.
  • Links to online services will continue to be offered. For more information please subscribe to our e-news: This Week at St John’s or visit our website: www.stjohnsottawa.ca