Attending a Service at Southwell Minster during COVID-19 Restrictions
We are delighted to have welcomed people back into the Minster building for public worship, from Sunday 21 March. Our worship also continues online – please join us for one of our services.
Please consider the Government guidance about ‘staying local’ when deciding whether to come to the Minster during this time.
Our service pattern has changed due to the pandemic (see here for details). Because of continued restrictions, services will be different in some ways from what you may be used to. All services are currently held in the Nave, and numbers are restricted.
Please note that the wearing of face coverings is now mandatory in all places of worship, so please bring a mask or other face covering with you unless you have a valid medical reason for not wearing one.
We have introduced a booking system for our major services (usually 10.00am on Sundays) to help us manage attendance and keep everyone safe. The Services Calendar makes clear which services require a booking to attend. If at all possible, please book your place online, or call the Vergers’ Office on 01636 817290 and leave a message to book your place. If booking by phone, please call before Saturday at 3.00pm, to ensure that there is sufficient time to process your booking. There will no longer be a guarantee of places available ‘on the door’ - however, if the service isn't at capacity then we will of course let people in, but booking your place is the only way to guarantee entry to the service.
Below are fuller instructions setting out what to expect when attending a service at the Minster at the moment. While there are many remaining restrictions, we hope that you will enjoy your time with us, and that you will find in this ancient place the presence of God, whose love is unchanging.
Instructions for attending a service at Southwell Minster
- Please bring a face mask or other face covering with you, and wear it throughout the service, unless you have a valid medical reason for not wearing one. In services of Holy Communion, please leave your face covering in place until you have received the host (wafer), then remove your face covering to consume the host, then replace it before returning to your seat.
- Enter by the north porch. If you are arriving in a wheelchair, motor scooter or with a buggy please wait in the porch and signal to the verger. The double doors cannot be opened from the outside without assistance.
- Because of the need to keep the building well-ventilated, we will be keeping the large west door open wherever possible. For this reason, it might be useful to bring an extra layer on all but the warmest days.
- Use the hand sanitiser provided as you arrive and exit.
- Give your name to the verger on duty at the door, who will confirm details.
- Orders of service will be placed on seats. Please take your copy home with you and do not share.
- Copies of Pew News will not be printed; these will continue to be available from our website or via our email service. In time, we will also encourage worshippers willing to do so to download orders of service onto a portable device, or to print them at home, to save paper and reduce the risk of infection. If you would like to subscribe for email updates from the Minster, including copies of Pew News, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Always observe social distancing (minimum 2 metres).
- Chairs have been arranged in the Nave which allow for spacious social distancing. If you arrive with your household group or ‘social bubble’ there are some chairs arranged in twos and threes.
- Children must always be supervised. Unfortunately Junior Church will not be able to meet during the initial phase of reopening for public worship.
- While the Minster is usually dog-friendly, only assistance dogs will be permitted.
- There will be no access to any other part of the Minster or Archbishop’s Palace, though a toilet will be available; please inform one of the vergers if you need to use it.
- The Palace Gardens (formerly the Education Garden) and churchyard is fully open.
- There will be no collection taken – envelopes/cash may be deposited in the donation box as you arrive, or preferably use the contactless donation station.
- We will not be shaking hands during the Peace.
- Communion will be received in one kind only (bread).
- Follow the instructions of wardens and sidesmen to approach the sanctuary. There will be 2 metre spaces marked on the floor of the aisle; please observe these to keep social distance. Receive communion and then return to your seat via the side aisles.
- After the service, please leave immediately following the organ postlude. Do not gather in doorways. Clergy will stand outside to greet people. We are not able to serve tea and coffee at the moment.