Builth's St Mary's to reopen for worship this Sunday
Volunteers have been busy with final preparations as St Mary’s Church in Builth Wells gets ready to reopen for worship this Sunday.
A dedicated team has been hard at work cleaning and providing sanitiser and signage for the service, which will be led by Canon Mark Beaton.
Benefice warden Ted Edwards said: “Together with the two church wardens, we decided we'd try and get the church open. We checked the Church in Wales website for guidance, which was very helpful, then went through the all the forms to see what could and couldn't be done and, basically, everything could be done. We sent the form off to Archdeacon Alan Jevons to check what we'd done and he said we could go ahead and do it.
“We had to make a list of everything we needed, including hand sanitisers, floor markings and paper towels and waste bins and notices. We had seven volunteers who came down to the building and split into different areas and we completely cleaned the building. It took around two days, and we then put up the notices and floor markings.”
Builth and Radnor parishes joined for Zoom services during lockdown but, Ted said, there had been a warm welcome for the return to church.
“Personally, I missed not being able to go to services and take part in them with people I would usually meet. I always come out of services feeling refreshed, and meeting in church together gives a real sense of community, where we can get together and praise God. A lot of people were asking when they could come back to church, so we decided to look at how we could apply to reopen it.
“With two-metre social distancing in place we can seat up to 50 people in the church, and family groups will be able to sit together. We’re also going to take the contact details of all attendees in case we need them for contact tracing. There’ll be hand sanitiser available when people enter the building and Mark Beaton, who will be taking the services, will either be providing wipeable laminate or disposable service sheets.
“People have been really pleased to hear that we’re reopening as they want to be able to take part in a service, even though it will be a bit different as we can’t sing or have communion. We’re still going to carry on with the Zoom services for a while as some people like them, but we hope more churches will also be able to reopen soon.”
The service at St Mary’s takes place on Sunday at 11am. Church in Wales guidance on the re-opening of churches is available here.