GCPC Covid-19 Reopening Protocols for August 16, 2020

The Session has indicated a return to public worship as of Sunday August 16, 2020.  The safety of all is of paramount importance as we resume worship.  These protocols, established in consultation with local health regulations and resources from the Presbyterian Church in Canada, shall apply to in-person worship services until such time as the Session may change them.


  • The congregation will be advised by announcement in the e-mail Tidbits newsletter and via the website of the return to in-person worship, and the guidelines for worship.
  • Members of the congregation who are not comfortable attending in-person worship should not do so; no one is under any pressure to return to worship.  We will continue to post worship resources on-line and deliver to those who have requested.
  • Members of the congregation who are exhibiting symptoms or feel they may have been exposed to someone who has symptoms or has a confirmed case of Covid-19 must not attend in person worship.
  • Those attending in-person worship must follow the established protocols and the directions of worship leaders while in the building.  Worship leaders (minister, duty elder, ushers, greeters, and Elders) will ask anyone not following these guidelines to leave.

Worship Services

The following activities normally associated with worship will not be taking place until a future date: 

  • Sunday School/Children’s Program/Youth Program
  • Nursery
  • Coffee/Fellowship Hour
  • Committee meetings before or after worship
  • Group singing (including choir)

Children may attend but their parents/caregivers are responsible for ensuring they remain seated and follow physical distancing guidelines throughout the service.

Attendance and Capacity

  • Worship services will be held in the Sanctuary with a maximum permitted occupancy of 75 people including worship leaders. (30% of capacity). 
  • Family groups (same household) may sit together, but people from different families will be seated a minimum of six feet apart from each other – distancing configurations may reduce the usable capacity.

Building Entry and Seating

  • The building will be open for seating 30 minutes prior to the start of the worship service.
  • All worshippers are to enter via the north (parking lot) entrance.  The usher/greeters will ensure that entry to the building is done in an orderly manner that respects physical distancing guidelines.  If required, worshippers will be asked to line up outside in a physically distanced queue to enter the building.
  • All worshippers will be asked to sanitize their hands and report their contact information for tracing purposes upon entry (usher/greeters).
  • All worshippers are required to wear masks and are strongly encouraged to bring their own mask.
  • All worshippers will be guided to an appropriate seating location in the sanctuary, respecting physical distancing requirements. (usher/greeters and duty elder will assign seating)
  • All worshippers must have a designated seating space.
  • All worshippers will be asked to remain in their designated place and not mingle or wander.
  • No one shall be permitted to enter the building once capacity is reached.
  • Access to the sanctuary will be restricted five minutes after the start of the worship service.

During Service

  • Bulletins, hymn books and Bibles will not be available for use.
  • Please do not sing along with the hymns.  Group singing is a high-risk activity.
  • Please keep your mask on at all times.
  • Offering plates will not be passed but will be located by the entrances/exits of the sanctuary – please place your offerings on the plate. We strongly encourage online donations via our website or using the Pre-Authorized Remittance program (PAR).   Please avoid using cash for your offering.
  • Please follow the directions of our worship leaders to protect the safety of all.

Building Exit

  • At the conclusion of the worship service, worshippers will be dismissed in groups (duty elder). Please remain seated until you are dismissed.
  • All who are able are to exit via the south (Guildwood Parkway) door of the sanctuary.
  • Anyone who has a mobility impairment that requires them to exit via the north lobby will be asked to wait until all other worshippers have left the building.
  • Worshippers are asked to dispose of any tissues, masks, etc. in the garbage containers provided and not litter on church or neighbouring properties.
  • Worshippers are to depart the premises immediately after worship, and not congregate on the lawn or in the parking lot.


  • Washrooms are available for use in cases of urgent need.
  • One person at a time in the washroom.
  • Please do not congregate in the hallway outside the washrooms.
  • Please use disinfecting wipes and wipe down any surfaces you contact in the washroom (toilet seat, flush handle, taps, door handles, etc.) when leaving.
  • Always practice safe hand-washing techniques.

Ancillary spaces

  • The office, lounge, meeting room, kitchen, church hall and nursery will be closed and are out of bounds during worship services.

The Session of Guildwood Community Presbyterian Church
August 7, 2020