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Over the last number of months a dedicated group of St James United church members have created a carefully crafted staged re-entry plan for our church. Please see the attached

Below is a excerpt from the document referencing our specific recommendations for re-entry.

Welcome Back

St James United Re-entry checklist and Policies


Given the attached information, demographics of our church and vulnerable groups St James United Church, we will adhere to the following policies and dates

  • We will return to service as per the guidelines outlined with a limited capacity in the sanctuary of 40 on Sept 13, 2020. If the provincial guidelines change, this number will change.

  • Effective Aug 15, 2020, we will permit the use of the church hall with a limited capacity of 10 (given the current group limit of 10) unless the NS guidelines change

  • We will allow tenants to use the church with a secondary responsibility of cleaning while the church will be the primary cleaner. This cleaning will mean an additional charge for post-event cleaning. That said, all groups will take their garbage and do necessary cleaning after themselves.

  • As per the recent NS provincial announcement all congregational members will be required to wear a mask or face shield.

  • As for Sunday School our premises is challenging to have Sunday School. That said, we will follow the NS health guidelines and provide more guidance in September


Staffing and the Ministry & Personnel Committee


Ministry and Personnel Committees have a vital role in the reopening of the churches. They will have a conversation with each employee. We will watch staff with a consideration for a level of mental fatigue, especially for those who have worked to keep the Pastoral Charge operational through worship and Pastoral Care. With that in mind:


  • We will meet with all staff and required volunteers to review the new policies

  • Check with the staff and required volunteers to see how they are doing and how their family is doing

  • Check with staff and required volunteers to see how this time has been for them

  • Check with staff and required volunteers how they are feeling about returning to the office (if applicable) and in-person worship

  • Check with the Ministry Personnel and Lay Employees who are vulnerable (over 60 or have compromised health) and  work with their Ministry and Personnel Committee to develop an alternate option to limit exposure to groups and high-risk activities

  • Have the Ministry and Personnel Committees contact the Regional Minister to come up with a plan for return in-person ministry

Caring for the Church Building and Hall


  • We will advise any staff or congregants who are symptomatic or have been advised by public health 8-1-1 to report their symptoms, to self-isolate and stay at home

  • We will post the symptoms so people can see what they are and know how to assess when to stay home (Fever above 38C, a new cough, or worsening cough, headache, sore throat, runny nose, fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste, loss of smell, and in children, purple markings on the fingers and toes)

  • Will will request that 2 meters will be observed where people sit. We will measure and rope off areas where people cannot sit to maintain physical distancing



For contact tracing (if/when required) for each use of the building, there needs to be a record of:

o Name and phone number of the people who were in the building

o Date and time that the gathering took place

o The purpose of the gathering


After each use of the building, cleaning with a disinfectant will happen. All disinfectants that have a drug identification number (DIN) have been approved for sale in Canada. While most disinfectants will work against Coronavirus, the following list of hard-surface disinfectants are supported by evidence following drug review, demonstrating that they are likely to be effective and may be used against SARS-CoV-2, the Coronavirus that causes COVID-19.


Cleaning for the Church Building and Hall


We will create a checklist of the places and items to clean for your worship and meeting space. We will clean as per the recommended procedure outline on the government website as noted here


Some things to consider:


  • We will thoroughly clean bathrooms with disinfectant – toilets (inside, outside and around the basin) – counters - sinks – taps – paper towel dispensers - door handles

  • Clean backs of pews

  • Clean Microphones

  • Clean Musical instruments

  • Clean Chairs

  • Clean Tables

  • Clean All door handles

  • Clean All other highly used areas

  • Clean Light switches

  • Make people aware of the hand sanitizer stations and places where they can wash their hands.

  • Washrooms will be equipped with hot and cold running water under pressure, liquid soap, paper towels, and garbage containers. Handwashing signs must be posted


Tenant and Group Use of Buildings


  • Regarding tenants, responsibility is a joint plan. This plan includes but not limited to:

o Cleaning is the responsibility of the church and Tenant

o The church will be clean after each Tenant, and added costs will be levied against the Tenant.

o Physical distancing needs to be maintained by all tenants

o Advise of the entrance and exit they are to use

o Only individual rooms will be made available to help reduce the required cleaning needs.

o Failure to maintain the health and government regulations may result in termination of the agreement and access privilege.

o The group must keep a list of all people and contacts for those attending the event; this must be kept for at least 30 days. Groups need to use only the agreed-upon space




Worship Guidelines Communion


If communion is offered:


Communion is like a buffet and will need to be treated with great care


  • Commercially prepared single-serving wafer/juice packages will be available for each congregant to pick up as they enter the sanctuary.

  • Each communicant places their empty cup into a separate receptacle

  • Physical distancing must be maintained

  • Offering a way to have the passing of the peace without physical touching. Perhaps a phrase or pressing hands together in a prayerful bow, a wave, a nod or some non-contact gesture can convey the message of peace

  • Encourage people to contribute through online giving, PAR, E-Transfer, or posted dated cheques. Passing the offering plate should be avoided. Place the plate in the church for people to drop their offering into, and have gloves available for volunteers handling cash or cheques




  • There should be no congregational or choir singing

  • Soloists must be at safe distances from each other and the congregation


Communal singing poses serious risks! Scientific evidence shows that the forceful breathing action of singing disperses the plume of aerosolized droplets from a singer’s mouth much further than six feet. Public health officials have said that masks cannot wholly contain such forcefully expelled mist. Tests have proven that microscopic ‘droplet nuclei’ that can carry the virus remain suspended in the air for up to 3 hours. As the science changes, we will update Communities of Faith.

Special Services Baptisms when appropriate


  • For infant baptism, the parents should be the only ones to hold the baby. The officiant will sanitize hands before the baptism. For infant, child, and adult baptism, water should come from individual cups or a bottle for each person, not the common font. If possible, have a separate bowl that sits in the font for each individual who will be baptized


Weddings and Funerals


  • We will need to follow our government restrictions. Physical distancing will need to be maintained, and cleaning protocols need to be followed



Church Suppers


For the foreseeable future, suppers will not take place in the church hall with sitting. We will have suppers in the form of a drive-thru. Aside from all the recommendations noted in this document, the following actions will take place.


  • All volunteers will wear a mask or face shield and clean hands with sanitizer as much as possible.

  • All meals will be prepared in a completely sanitized kitchen with kitchen staff following all of the public health and church recommended procedures.

  • Gloves are preferred but not a requirement for the preparation of food or cleaning.

  • Customers will be notified

    • not to get out of their car

    • that a mask or face shield is mandatory

    • that exact change is required and should be placed in the container provided

    • No customer is permitted in the church hall


Please be in touch with your Regional Minister or your Regional Executive Minister if you have questions or concerns.