Merv’s Musings – St. Andrew’s Reopens

Merv’s Musings – St. Andrew’s Reopens

When I worked for Imperial Oil as a Power Engineer back in the 1970’s a popular phrase we used was:  all things are subject to change or cancellation without further notice.  This was the sentiment felt by many employees as management were making changes at the time. However this may be an accurate description of today’s environment with Covid-19.  Each day there seems to be news that changes or cancels different ways we do things. 

So too with St Andrews.  The Corporation and Vestry has worked hard at designing and implementing protocols so that we might open safely.  The protocols were presented to the Diocese and accepted for us to move forward.  Therefore I am pleased to announce that our first service will be at 11:15 a.m., Sunday, August 23rd.  Only a few weeks away.  Let the bells ring out and the banners fly!

Below is a summary of the protocols that will be in place.  It will be a Book of Common Prayer Communion service.  Yes it will look different.  It will even feel different.  But we will at last be able to worship together. 

The readings I have selected are the Easter morning readings.  It was Holy Week when we stopped services and I think it would be good to have Resurrection Sunday or an Easter Service.  Of course we aren’t supposed to sing, but hopefully it will be a memorable, Spirit filled day as we worship together.

Protocols for re-opening and
Covid-19 Risk Assessment Checklist for the Parish

Prepared by Rev. Merv Lanctot and accepted by Vestry:

  • Vestry to review protocols and their implementation every week for the first 4 weeks. 

  • The need for people who have traveled, are unwell or in contact with someone diagnosed with Covid-19, to not attend church.  Requirements will be posted by the door.  These health questions will be asked by the greeters.

  • Self-screening masks should be worn.  Diagrams indicating flow within the church will be posted.

  • The church will be thoroughly sanitized before and after a service is held each week including door knobs and light switches. 

  • Use of a Power Point projector displaying most prayers and hymns.  No worship books, no bulletins, very little paper use. 

  • Seating will be in every second pew and not across from each other.  (Sorry, your regular pew may not be available right now).

  • Greeters will stand behind a table and record who is in attendance and inform parishioners of protocols. 

  • Families and household units will be able to sit in a single pew.  Others will be asked to social distance and sit in designated pews.

  • Hand sanitizer will be available for use on entry and exiting and before communion. 

  • No offertory collection.  A basket will be at the back of pews for the offering and brought forward in the service by the designated person.

  • We encourage parishioners to bring their own mask, however, we will have disposable masks on hand for those needing one.  Disposable masks will be discarded upon exiting church. 

  • Communicants will be instructed to hand sanitize before communion and no wine will be available. 

  • Priest will use safety protocols in handling of communion elements, wearing of mask etc.

  • Celebrant will place the wafer in a small paper muffin cup for each individual  parishioner

  • After communion, communicants will leave altar by turning right proceeding to the outer wall isle and back around to their pew 

  • Disposal of the small cup will be indicated.  (Instructions as to flow will be given.)

  • Priest and organist will arrange music and have a soloist only when available. 

  • No coffee time.

  • No passing of peace during the service.

  • Social distancing of 6 feet will be observed at all times. 

All these rules and regulations may seem burdensome.  However, we want to open!
 And we want to open safely.  I sure hope you can make it on
August 23rd.  However, I also know that some folks still are not comfortable going into an open environment, like the church.  TOTALLY understandable!  Come when “you” are ready.

Please contact me if you have any concerns, or problems.


In Christ:

Rev. Merv Lanctot

Faith grows in the soil of hope