Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Wednesday, 18th August 2021 - UPDATE FOLLOWING KIRK SESSION MEETING

The Kirk Session met on Tuesday 17th August, and in line with changes to the law announced by the First Minister previously, agreed to dispense with social distancing requirements in both Windygates and Kennoway from this Sunday 22nd. There will however be space for you to socially distance if that is your preference. You are not required to book your place to attend worship. However, a master list of regular attenders in both places has been created, and if you attend and your name is not on the list it will be added, since we are still required to maintain lists for Test and Protect purposes.

The wearing of face coverings remains mandatory at this time.

Wednesday, 19th May 2021 - CAPACITY UPDATE

Following the First Minister's recent announcements, we are able to make use of the gallery in the St. Kenneth's Kennoway church building. This increases our overall capacity within Kennoway to 41. All previous COVID-19 restrictions (including booking attendance) still apply.

Tuesday, 30th March 2021 - UPDATE

I am pleased to confirm that we have been granted permission to reopen our buildings for public worship from Sunday 4th April 2021. There will be services at 09:45 in Windygates and 11:15 in Kennoway. Social distancing will apply, face coverings are required unless exempt, and you will be required to book your place. To do that, please contact Jean Wilkie on the church mobile  between the hours of 9am on Tuesday and 12noon on Friday, specifying which service you would like to attend. The number is: 07398 825331.

Take care, and stay safe.

Allan.

Further Update following First Minister's Announcement of Monday 4th January 2021

My dear friends,
Having returned from leave, I wanted to write a few lines following the First Minister's announcement on Monday. 

We had already decided to suspend live Church services prior to Monday so my previous statement still stands. There will be no services of public worship in our buildings until further notice.

I realise that the announcement of another lockdown will leave many feeling low and uncertain. As I said in Church over Christmas, please reach out. Feel free to contact me by phone or email. I wish I could undertake visits in person, but there is no way in which this is possible at the moment. But be assured that you are all in my thoughts and prayers.

There will be services from the manse on YouTube each Sunday (shared with Facebook), and occasional Midweek Musings and videos for prayerful reflection. From this Sunday, the Sunday services will once again also be available by telephone at (01333) 813998.

Please look after yourselves, seek help when you need it, and stay safe.

My prayers,
Allan.

Update Following Scottish Government Announcement

I write this morning to advise that the group granted delegated powers by the Kirk Session during the pandemic has made the tough decision that, in the light of the First Minister's announcement on Saturday, 19th December, we will cancel all public worship in the buildings with effect from 27th December 2020. This arrangement will be in place for at least the initial period of Level 4 restrictions, but I will update you as to precisely when we will reopen.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services will proceed as previously advertised. This Sunday, there will be online worship provided by the Moderator of the General Assembly and there will be online services each Sunday thereafter. There are also several broadcasts forthcoming on television.

I realise that this news may well disappoint many, especially at this time of year, but the health and safety of our congregation must be our priority.

Please stay safe and well.

My prayers,

Allan Morton

Parish Minister

COVID-19 Update: 28th October 2020 - Extended Service Booking Hours

Please note that due to track and trace purposes, you need to book your place in the service each week by either calling Jean Wilkie on the church mobile, on 07398 825331 between the hours of 9am on Tuesday and 12noon on Friday, specifying which service you would like to attend, or by emailing the Church Office email address - stkennethsparish@gmail.com.

COVID-19 Update: 4th October 2020

As your Ministry Team, we wanted to take this opportunity to update you on where we are with the task of re-opening our buildings for worship, and possibly other activities. Before we go into further detail, we want to acknowledge how tough it has been for you to be unable to meet together in person for worship and fellowship in the buildings during this time. We recognise that this has been a challenging time, perhaps especially for those living alone and shielding. Our thoughts and prayers are particularly with those who have been bereaved during this time.

Our current status is that a risk assessment has been carried out, and we have permission from Presbytery to reopen for worship, and we plan to do so on Sunday, 11th October when, assuming there are no further restrictions, we will hold services in Windygates at 09:45 and Kennoway at 11:15.

Worship services with current restrictions in place will look very different to the way we remember them. It is worth bearing in mind that:

1. The maximum number of people allowed in any building at one time is 50. However, with distancing restrictions in place it will mean that we can accommodate 20 people in the main sanctuary area at Kennoway, and 25 in the main sanctuary at Windygates. These numbers do not include the person leading worship.

2. We will not be allowed to use the gallery in Kennoway, with the exception of one person to operate the sound system.

3. We will be unable to serve tea and coffee.

4. There will be no physical greetings or shaking of hands possible at services.

5. Bibles, hymn books and soft furnishings will have to be removed and not used.

6. Communal hymn-singing is prohibited, as is communally saying the Lord’s Prayer.

7. Face coverings will have to be worn by all present, with the exception of whoever is leading worship.

8. A register of everyone who attends worship would have to be kept and retained for 21 days for contact and tracing purposes.

9. Uplifting the offering could not be undertaken by passing the plate among the congregation. However, there will be a plate/box at the front door for you to leave your offering.

10. We will likely be unable to celebrate the sacraments for some time to come.

11. We must also bear in mind the issue of handling transport safely, as we will not be able to use the Church minibus.

12. Please also note that once we are able to re-open our buildings, you will have to book your place in the service each week by either calling Lynn Smith, our Church Administrator, on the church mobile, on 07398 825331 between the hours of 8.30am and 2.30pm on Tuesday, specifying which service you would like to attend, or by emailing the Church Office email address - stkennethsparish@gmail.com.

As we plan to return to our buildings for worship our top priority has to be the health and safety of everyone. Please bear with us as we adjust to new ways of working, and as we adhere to guidance from both Church of Scotland and the Scottish Government, which are both subject to change.

Meantime, please be assured that there will continue to be online worship, which you can access by logging onto YouTube and searching for St. Kenneth’s Parish Church. There are also videos for reflection and prayer provided by Iona on the Church YouTube page and church website (www.stkenneths.org.uk). It is also now possible to listen to the worship service via telephone by calling (01333) 813998 and this should be free with most call packages.

In the meantime, we want you to know that we are here for you, so please feel free to contact either of us at any time.

Our thoughts and prayers,

Allan and Iona.

 

COVID-19 Update: 26th July 2020

Here is an update on where we are with the task of re-opening our buildings for worship, and possibly other activities. Before we go into further detail, we want to acknowledge how tough it has been for you to be unable to meet together in person for worship and fellowship in the buildings during this time.

You will be aware of the recent Scottish Government announcement stating that places of worship are permitted to re-open during Phase 3 of the exit from lockdown. A taskforce from the Church of Scotland’s head office has been in regular contact with the Government in order that it may produce its own guidelines for congregations. The latest version of these guidelines can be found at: https://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/68498/Buildings-Guidance-DOCUMENT-V3.pdf.  Before any place of worship is permitted to re-open, a risk assessment on each area of each building to be opened must be carried out. The risk assessment will involve signage being displayed to indicate where people may sit, and that a one-way system is in operation. There will be a thorough cleaning regime in place, with hand-sanitising available around the building. This risk assessment must be approved by the Presbytery. Even without further elaboration, you will appreciate that this is no small task. In our own context, a group has been established to carry out this work, and it is convened by the Session Clerk.

If the risk assessment for the worship sanctuaries in the church buildings is approved during Phase 3, it is worth bearing in mind the following points, specifically in relation to worship services:

 In the current phase:

1. The maximum number of people allowed in any building at one time is 50. However, with distancing restrictions in place it is likely to be a smaller number allowed.

2. We will not be allowed to use the gallery, with the exception of one person to operate the sound system.

3. Bibles, hymn books and soft furnishings will have to be removed and not used.

4. Communal hymn-singing is prohibited, as is the communal recitation of the Lord’s Prayer.

5. Face coverings will have to be worn by all present, with the exception of whoever is leading worship.

6. A register of everyone who attends worship would have to be kept and retained for 21 days for contact and tracing purposes.

7. Uplifting the offering could not be undertaken by passing the plate among the congregation.

8. There are many caveats to celebrating communion and baptisms.

9. We must also bear in mind the issue of handling transport safely, as we may not be able to use the Church minibus.

From the above, you can appreciate that returning to worship in our buildings will not be straightforward, but we are working on this, and will update you with further information when we have it. Whilst we would like to re-open as soon as possible, our priority is that re-opening must be done safely. In the meantime, there will continue to be online worship, which you can access at   https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHzL-LsV_eUH7KXvJd08INQ. Please bear with us, as guidance is subject to change. If you know of anyone who is unable to access this update online, please share it with them.

Our thoughts and prayers,

 Allan and Iona.

Ministry Team