Sept 1, 2021
We are pleased to announce that St. George’s on-the-Hill will be reopening to in-person worship on Sunday, September 12th, 2021. Below are outlined the changes to worship that you can expect when you attend church in-person.
Your clergy and wardens have determined that we are able to safely reopen with two celebrations on Sunday, at the usual times of 8:30am and 10:30am, with sanitization of the space taking place in between. Social distancing and the wearing of masks will be required. For those who are unable or uncomfortable for any reason with attending in-person worship, we will continue to offer live-stream video worship and dial-in for those without internet access.
Please understand that some changes are mandatory protocols issued by the Diocese (in consultation with federal, provincial and local health experts), while others are specific to our particular setting.
Registering for In-Person Worship
To register to attend services in person, please go to the following links and scroll to the bottom of the page:
Coming Back to Church – What To Expect and How to Prepare:
Register/RSVP to attend church each week on our website. Visit www.stgeorgesonthehill.ca, where there will be a link at the top of the webpage to register. This form will collect your contact tracing information. This will a) speed up entry into the church; b) let us know ahead of time how many people may be attending so we can plan accordingly; and c) help us to determine whether we need to add another or several service times on a Sunday morning. We have limited seating due to social distancing requirements. For those who do not have access to the internet, but who wish to RSVP to attend church, please call the church office, 416.239.2341. Your information will be retained for 3 years, according to the guidelines set out by the Diocese of Toronto, and will be kept private and confidential.
Self- Assessment for COVID Symptoms: part of registering on line will include answering a self-assessment questionnaire. If between the time of registering and worship on Sunday morning, you answer yes to any of the questions provided, please isolate, and do not come to church.
Entrance to the church will be through the West doors (unless mobility issues require use of the lift/elevator, in which case entrance by the North door is permitted). This is to control the flow/direction of people entering the church.
Masks are required to enter the church, and must be worn at all <mes while in the church. Hand sanitizer will be provided at entrances, exits, and various locations around the church.
Personal Effects: You must keep all your belongings with you at all times while in the building. Use of coat racks is not permitted.
Offertory: Offertory baskets will be located at the entrance and exits. In an effort to keep Sunday worship touch-free, no collection plate will be passed.
Pews will be roped off to allow for socially-distanced seating. Parishioners will be permitted to choose their own seats (whether solo, family, or bubble) from the available pews. Please be mindful to sit where the green painters tape indicates.
Children are always welcome! Those under the age of 10 are required to remain with their families. Families are welcome to bring activities, toys, snacks, etc. Crayons and colouring sheets will be provided. Please ensure that anything that is brought to church, is taken home again.
Bulletins will be provided.
Singing: The sung portions of the service will be lead by soloists, who will be masked, and socially distanced from the congregation. We ask that even if you know the tune, please do not join in singing.
No incense will be used during worship – both to avoid the possibility of triggering coughing or sneezing, and to remove the touch-point of passing the thurible between the acolyte and clergy.
The Exchange of the Peace will be with words, a wave, or a solemn bow only, no physical contact. Please do not leave your pew.
Holy Communion will be offered in one kind (wafer only), at two stations near the Book of Remembrance and the Lady Altar. Once you have received communion, you will be able to return to your seat for the conclusion of worship. (Please note this is a change from last year – the cameras that were blocking the center aisle have now been mounted, allowing us to return to the usual flow of the liturgy.) Sidespeople will help offer directions. Please maintain a two-metre distance from the person in front of you while coming forward. There will be green markings on the floor to ensure appropriate distancing. Hand sanitization stations will be set up to enable sanitization before receiving communion. Please extend your hands, pressed together to form a bowl, for the clergy who will (while masked and with sanitized hands) place the wafer into your hands and say, “The Body of Christ.” Please step to the side, remove your mask on one side, consume the wafer, and replace your mask. You may then return to your seat.
Coffee Hour is not currently permitted in the building. Once worship has ended, we encourage you to leave the building. Weather permittng, we can visit outdoors on the paving stones and in the parking lot afterwards. We will continue to offer a social gathering online via Zoom after worship.
Online worship will continue to be available via live-stream, dial-in audio, and as video-recording for those who are unable or uncomfortable for any reason, with worshipping in person. This past year and a half has been a time of increased isolation for most – if not all – of us, and we are committed to staying as connected as possible with all of you. In the event that a fourth wave of COVID-19 requires another shut down, we will move all worship online.
Technical Support for Online Worship. Our Director of Youth Ministry James Noronha and the youth group would be happy to offer guidance on how to access worship online. I strongly encourage anyone who is unable or uncomfortable worshipping in person, to consider this option. We can help set you up with email, and access to our worship services on our website. Please contact the church office, email@example.com for more information about accessing online worship.