Lady with hands raised in praise to God

Are you booked to join us at The Oakwood Centre this Sunday?

Well you may be aware that this Sunday we are taking another step to increase a sense of freedom in our Sunday gatherings, while maintaining a sense of safety for everyone, particularly for those who may feel more vulnerable. So when you booked in this week, everyone booking to attend the service in the main auditorium will have been given the option ‘I’d prefer to wear a mask’ or ‘I’d prefer not to wear a mask’. For more information about this decision, refer back to Martin Dunkley’s video announcement last week.

So what will it look like?

Well arrival at The Oakwood Centre will look much like it has the last few weeks.

Everyone will need to wear a mask in order to enter the building.

This is to ensure that those who wish to continue wearing a mask are respected. For more on this refer back to Martin’s announcement in July where he spoke of our Biblical response in preferring others.

To make the movement of people into the building a little quicker, stewards will no longer be checking tickets. They will simply ask if you have booked a ticket and will be trusting you in your answer! If you have not managed to get a ticket for this Sunday, you will simply be asked to wait until everyone with a ticket is seated so that we can check our capacity.

You will be shown to your seat

When you enter the auditorium, the area to your left will be space designated for those who wish to keep their mask in place for the whole service. Our wonderful facilities team will be checking ticket preference ratios each Friday afternoon and will ensure that there is adequate seating for everyone who chooses to remain wearing a mask to sit together. In the Auditorium we have a wonderful air extraction system which ensures that fresh air is brought in from outside and that air that has been breathed out, is extracted back outside. We are therefore not recycling air, which reduces the likelihood of aerosol transmission. By seating those who are masked together, their risk of transmission is further reduced.

Those who wish to remove their mask once seated, will be seated further across the room. Once you are seated, you may remove your mask.

Everyone will continue to be seated in household groups, though of course if you wish to sit with another person, you may do so, as long as you first check that they are comfortable for you to join them.

At the end of the service…

…everyone will remain in their seat so that the stewards can help to maintain a steady exit to the room, in order to help us maximise the ability to social distance. Those who have removed their mask will need to pop it back on while they collect children and exit the building, so that respect is still shown to those who feel the need to keep their mask in place.

A note about ticketing

A huge thank you to our admin and facilities teams who do a huge amount of work behind the scenes to make our Sunday mornings run smoothly.

I’m sure that you can appreciate that this new phase creates a logistical challenge for our teams, as we navigate the unpredictable segmentation of those who wish to remove masks and those who wish to keep masks in place. We will try so hard to ensure that the balance of tickets means that you can always have a choice and that we maintain our maximum capacity, while also ensuring that our admin team are not expected to work 24/7.

Therefore, if you have a strong preference in either direction, can we ask that you book your tickets before 2pm on a Friday afternoon, which is when chairs will be re-arranged for the Sunday morning service.

Tickets will continue to be available through ChurchSuite and through the events section of our webpage.

08 Oct 2021