The government has published new plans; they call it a four-step roadmap, offering a route back to more normal life. We want to outline the different steps of that plan and communicate what we're hoping to do each step of the way. It's important to remember that these dates may change! The Government itself emphasises following the data gathered and not following the dates. They have said that each step will last for a minimum of five weeks. The nature of the steps may change as well.
Church services can take place; however, as before, we are strongly advised by the government to livestream. In a Summit meeting, there would be no singing allowed, no mixing between households (no children's groups), no HUB drinks, masks would have to be worn throughout and services must be as short as possible. For these reasons we will keep Sundays live on YouTube and not open the building at this time. Prayer Room continues online.
Support groups of up to 15 adults are allowed to meet from 8 March, and parent & child groups can meet from 29 March outdoors. We have a few small support groups who will be able to use this opportunity to meet.
From 29 March, the rule of 6 will be back in place, meaning we can meet others outdoors. Two households can meet outside as well. During this time, we encourage house churches and friendship groups to make the most of the (hopefully!) warm weather and see each other face-to-face (following the rule of 6).
The HUB will be shut at this time as indoor hospitality businesses are not allowed to open.
The change in Step 2 is that community halls and centres can open. This means we will be able to have groups like Little Builders meet in groups of up to 15 at The Summit - visit the Little Builders Facebook page for more information! Cafés are still not allowed (except outdoors) and so The HUB will still be shut during this time. Sundays will continue online as before.
Outdoor restrictions on meeting others will be eased, but with a maximum number of 30 people. Indoor hospitality will now be allowed for groups of 6, or 2 households. This means we will be able to open The HUB with some restrictions, similar to how it was open in October/November 2020. We will make sure to let you know when we have a set date for The HUB reopening.
These changes will affect house churches and groups, with different opportunities inside and outside. Of course, not everyone can meet at once indoors, but this will be an improvement! There will be more specific guidance from the government at this time to help us make these choices safely; the government talks of allowing people to decide on the appropriate level of risk for their circumstances and issuing more guidance on social distancing between friends and family, including hugging!
Before going into Step 4 the government intends to conduct a complete review of social distancing.
The government predicts that they will be able to lift all restrictions on social contact at this time! We will prayerfully consider how to best serve everyone who uses The Summit - for instance, some may not feel comfortable attending on a Sunday until they are vaccinated for COVID-19. We plan to continue to stream the Sunday Family Celebration live. It may be that some restrictions, for example masks, are still required, but we will know closer to the time what the situation is.
The government plans for events to be subject to the results of a 'Scientific Events Research Programme' based on pilot studies made during the Spring and Summer.
Until more specific information comes from the government we are unable to say how other Summit meetings and events are affected from 21 June onwards. The government may well change the date so it's difficult at this point to talk about other meetings and events, but we will keep you up to date as things develop.
COVID-19 remains for now part of our lives. Let's live our lives safely, for ourselves and others, following the guidance as given - 'hands, face, space'. Remember that outdoors is safer than indoors and to keep letting the fresh air in. Get a test if you need it and get vaccinated when offered.
We hope the above information is useful to you. We do not know the future, but we do know whose hands it is in, and we trust God for his wisdom and guidance at every turn. God bless you, and we hope to see you (in person) soon!
Kingdom Faith Yorkshire
He will yet fill your mouths with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.
Full information, including business, education and travel, can be found at this webpage: COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021 (Summary).