Meeting for Worship

Opening for Meeting for Worship Guidance Document Colchester Quakers

This document has been created by Colchester Quakers Covid Task and Finish Group and is in keeping with current government and BYM guidance. Please assist us by reading and  following the guidance below, any questions or to be on the door keeping rota please contact Jane Herd or 07800970049.

Safety- Only attend if you are confident you are not suffering from Covid or have not been in contact with someone who has in the last 14 days. If you have any symptoms or have been in contact with someone who had the virus DO NOT ATTEND. Anyone with a cough or a temperature may not be allowed in.

Hygiene- Please wash your hands before coming to meeting; use the hand sanitizer provided;wrap hankies yourself and take away; wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after using the toilet.

Facecoverings-Friends are advised that the wearing of face coverings is compulsory at all times in the Meeting House unless someone is exempt for health reasons

When- Meeting forworship will recommence as of Sunday August 9th 10.30 to 11.30 and weekly on a Sunday from then on. No other Quaker meetings will take place currently in the meeting house.

Where- Only the Meeting Room will be open. All other rooms or areas bar the toilets will be out of bounds including the library and kitchen.

Vulnerable Groups- As of August 1st previous vulnerable and shielding groups will be free to follow the same rules as everyone else. However, Friends are asked to consider their own health and whether they feel it is safe for them to attend.

Online Meeting- To meet the needs of vulnerable groups and because there will be limited space in the Meeting Room we will offer a virtual Area Meeting for worship alongside the Colchester Local Meeting in person one and review this at the end of August.

Social Distancing- We will be observing 2m’s social distancing within the meeting house or any queue into the meeting house. We have also introduced a one-way system in and out of the building

Attendance- We have limited places in the meeting house due to social distancing. This means 16 persons maximum including space for 1 wheelchair user. In the event of overflow, we have space for maximum 6x seated in the corridor outside the meeting room. If more than 22 people attend, we will regretfully have to turn away any additional people.

Children- We will not be able to offer children’s or all age meetings currently. Secondary school aged children are welcome to attend Meeting for Worship with a parent or guardian.

Car Parking- There will only be space for 3 cars, for essential use only, the rest of the Car Park will be needed to for people to queue at a social distance to come into the Meeting House. If you have a disabled parking badge you can park on yellow lines just outside the Meeting House.

Smoking- Please do not smoke on meeting house premises including the grounds.

Reading Material- All leaflets and magazines will be removed, and the library marked out of bounds. If you want to borrow a book or other reading material, please liaise with our librarian Melanie Read.

Attending the Meeting

If you want access to water/drinks, Quaker Faith and Practice, Advices and Queries and or a Bible please bring these with you.


Those attending the meeting are asked to arrive no earlier than 10.15 and not to congregate outside and go straight in via the front door. Wheelchair access will be by the side door as usual.

If there is any queue to enter Friends to keep to two metres distance

There will be a Door Keeper standing in front of the front door, they will welcome you and take your name and telephone number which is kept for 21 days. If you do get ill, please let us know at

People are to use hand sanitiser to thoroughly disinfect their hands before going into the Meeting. There will be four sanitisers placed in the lobby.

The Door Keeper will direct people straight to the main Meeting Room.

There is to be NO SOCIALISING or CHATTING in the lobby and no physical greeting, social distancing of 2m’s must always be respected  

Coats, etc must be taken into the room by each individual as they will not be able to go back out to collect them. Umbrellas may go in the stand as usual but must be collected by going around the one-way system.

At 10.30 a Door Keeper will shut the front door, and remain in the lobby to manage any late entries or unexpected guests

The Meeting-

There will be a Door Keeper sitting in the corner by the door of The Meeting Room who will ensure people are safely seated.

Chairs have been rearranged to maintain social distancing.

As people go into the room in use they will be advised by the Door Keeper to  take the furthest away chair or bench unless a person needs a particular type of seating in this case they are directed to take the furthest away available of these. If needed, there will be 6 additional chairs set out in the corridor outside the Meeting Room.

Friends are asked not to chat in the Meeting Room prior to 10.30 to allow Friends to settle into the meeting

Meeting will start at 10.30 as usual but due to social distancing there will not be an elders’ bench but there may be more elders elsewhere in the Meeting Room

Meeting will be undertaken as usual and Elders will conclude the meeting, we will not shake hands and people can use the alternative of their choice

News of friends and notices will then be given


Friends can chat in the garden at a 2m distance after the meeting. There will be no coffee, but Friends are welcome to bring their own drink with them.

People will leave via the double doors at the back and exit via the garden gate. The people nearest the doors will leave first and those behind them gradually peel out, the Meeting Room Door Keeper will co-ordinate this.

Toilet Use

If possible, Friends will be asked not to use the Meeting House toilet. If this is not possible please ensure that that social distancing is always maintained.

If using the toilet, please follow government guidance re handwashing. Soap solution and paper towels are provided.

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