Our Commitment

Our Commitment

Also available in pdf: Vine Church COVID-19 Action Plan v2 240720


  1. 24.07.20  Update on page 14 “Demographics of Attendees due to pause on shielding.
  2. 28.4.21. Updates on Scottish government guidance for places of worship include:

From 26 April all parts of Scotland will move to level 3. For places of worship the key changes are:

  • the number of people who can be admitted to a place of worship is no longer capped at 50, but is still subject to 2m physical distancing
  • indoor hospitality is now permitted, so places of worship can serve food and drink after services, provided they do so in line with the hospitality guidance. Note that places of worship are not eligible to apply reduced distancing of 1m.

People at higher risk/shielding

Certain groups of people are at higher risk of developing severe illness from COVID-19. Guidance on individuals who fall into this higher risk group can be found on the NHS Inform website, and government advice is available on how to keep themselves safe at each protection level.

People in this higher risk group are advised to avoid indoor public spaces, including places of worship, in any area with protection level 3 or 4. If someone is part of a higher risk or extremely high risk group and wishes to attend a place of worship in person at this time, they should seriously consider whether to do so in line with the public health advice applicable to them and available on NHS Inform.

Singing, chanting and the playing of instruments

Congregational singing, both indoors and outdoors, should continue to be avoided at this time.

Scientific studies indicate that it is the cumulative aerosol transmission from both those performing in and attending events that involve singing and the playing of wind and brass instruments, that is likely to create risk.

Where it is essential to an act of worship for an individual to sing or chant indoors, one individual may do so behind a plexiglass screen without the need for a face covering to be worn. Any screen used should be cleaned regularly and extended physical distancing should be considered.

Other instruments that do not require breath to operate may be played (for example, church organs). Instruments used by more than one person should be cleaned between users.

Restrictions on capacity

Those responsible for places of worship should ensure that they only open to their communities for individual or congregational acts of worship and ceremonies to mark life events if it is safe to do so and in compliance with this guidance. It is their responsibility to put in place measures that will allow them to safely open.

Restrictions must be set by those responsible for the place of worship to limit the number of people permitted to enter at any one time, so that a safe distance of at least 2 metres can be maintained between individuals from different household groups. This should take into account total floor space and likely ‘pinch points’ and busy areas, and the building design and layout. The availability of staff/volunteers to help manage attendance should also be considered.

As a church we have carried out an extensive and thorough COVID-19 risk assessment assisted by Phil Beaumont, Workplace Health and Safety Advice Service.

Risk Assessment Vine Church COVID-19 July 2020

All of our Staff have completed the training course: “COVID-19 Essentials: Infection Prevention and PPE.”

As a result, we have implemented a number of measures to create a safe working environment that prevents as much as possible the transmission of COVID-19.

The latest Scottish Government guidance states:

“In addition to activity permitted within places of worship during phases 1 and 2 of the route map, from 15 July individuals or household/extended household groups are allowed to enter a place of worship to take part in the following individual or congregational activities:

  • pre-arranged or scheduled acts of worship, such as regular congregational services led by a minister of religion or lay person
  • communal prayers, devotions or contemplation led by a minister of religion or lay person

Individuals must continue to be physically distanced from others not in their household/extended household group when carrying out these activities.

Large public gatherings are still restricted. Places of worship should not admit more than 50 people in total, regardless of their size and usual capacity.

Those responsible for running a place of worship should engage and communicate with worshippers and the wider community to explain what is permitted and what is still prohibited.”[i]


Understanding how COVID-19 is spread and how control measures work is key to preventing infection from occurring.

How is COVID-19 spread? [1]

COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The evidence to date continues to point towards transmission mainly occurring via contact from symptomatic cases. This can occur through respiratory droplets, by direct contact with infected persons, or by contact via contaminated objects and surfaces. Shedding of SARS-CoV-2 is highest early in the course of the disease, particularly within the first 3 days from onset of symptoms. However, there is also some evidence that transmission to others may be possible 1-3 days prior to symptom onset (pre-symptomatic phase) or in individuals that develop infection but don’t develop symptoms (asymptomatic phase) however the evidence for this is still emerging and is very limited. The risk of transmission is highest when there is close contact with an infected person who is symptomatic and this risk 1

There are two routes by which COVID-19 can be spread:

  •  Directly: from close contact with an infected person (within 2 metres) where respiratory secretions can enter the eyes, mouth, nose or airways. This risk increases the longer someone has close contact with an infected person.
  •  Indirectly: by touching a surface, object or the hand of an infected person that has been contaminated with respiratory secretions and then touching own mouth, nose or eyes.

How long can the virus survive on environmental surfaces?

Under most circumstances, the amount of infectious virus on any contaminated surfaces is likely to have decreased significantly by 72 hours.

We know that similar viruses are transferred to and by people’s hands. Therefore, frequent hand hygiene and regular decontamination of frequently touched environmental and equipment surfaces will help to reduce the risk of infection transmission.

By protecting the potential routes of entry into the body by social distancing, good personal hygiene practices and cleaning regimes we can effectively minimise any potential for infection, even when near someone who may be infected.

The government guidance sets out the guidelines on how this should be achieved. At the heart of the guidance is a 2m rule. The latest advice from the Scottish government on 2nd July 2020 can be read at footnote below.[2]  Based on this advice we have taken the decision to keep 2 metres as the optimum default physical distancing requirement for using the Vine Conference Centre.  We will also implement a number of mitigating measures as detailed below.

For clients who are using the conference centre for childcare services, the client is responsible for ensuring strict adherence to guidance from the Scottish government and Care Inspectorate with regards to the health and safety measure they must follow.  The need for social distancing for children under 12 (0-11) is different.[3]

Social distancing is important to ensure people are distanced from each other and therefore not spreading infection by direct touching. It also allows space for exhaled droplets to dissipate reducing the likelihood of inhaling them.

We have taken all reasonable measures as detailed below:

  • to ensure that a distance of 2 metres is maintained between any persons on the premises (except between members of the same household or a carer and the person assisted by the carer)
  • to ensure that we only admit people to its premises in sufficiently small numbers to make it possible to maintain that distance
  • to ensure that a distance of 2 metres is maintained between any person waiting to enter the premises (except between members of the same household, or a carer and the person assisted by the carer)

Below are some of the measures we have implemented as part of our COVID-19 response.

Entry to the Building

Before entering the Vine Church every person will be asked the following 4 questions.  The event organiser is responsible for ensuring someone is at the front door and screens every person coming in and asked the following 4 questions.  A sign will be placed outside the building asking no-one to enter until someone first screens them before entering:

  1. Do you have a new or continuous cough?
  2. Do you have a high temperature?  (“A high temperature is feeling hot to the touch on your chest or back (you don’t need to measure your temperature). You may feel warm, cold or shivery.” )
  3. Do you currently have a loss of taste or smell?
  4. Have you been in contact with someone with the above symptoms and been asked to self-isolate or been in contact with a confirmed case or Coronavirus?

If the answer to any of the above is yes, the person will not be permitted to enter the building and must go home.

We will have socially distance place markers on the floor for people queueing up to enter the building to ensure they remain socially distanced.

We have ensured one point of entry to the building and a separate point of exit.

The current Scottish guidelines for places of worship restrict the number of people that are allowed to meet to 50.[4]  We have introduced a booking system that people must use to be allowed into the building to ensure the number does not exceed 50.  “Places of worship must also take all reasonable measures to only admit people to the premises in sufficiently small numbers to make it possible to maintain that distance. This should be up to a maximum total of 50 people.”

Anyone who is shielding continuing to follow government advice on shielding 

We have limited access to places where people need to go with signs and temporary cordons.  This is to close off to people areas of the building that are not in use.


Parents or guardians should ensure children maintain physical distancing and good hand and respiratory hygiene whilst they remain in any part of the the Vine church grounds or premises. Read general advice on physical distancing for children in wider settings.

To enable this a family can book a playpen in the main hall that their children can remain in during the service.  This will be washed with disinfectant after use.  The parents can bring toys for their children but these must be removed when the service ends.

All shared facilities for children (play corners, books, toys) have been removed and the café soft play has been closed.

Enhanced Hygiene

We have introduced enhanced hygiene measures to create a safe working environment, including:

  • sanitiser and hand-washing facilities are now easily available at key points, including on entry and exit points
  • additional sanitiser facilities have been added around communal areas
  • regular cleaning of work equipment and work stations.
  • We have ensured regular detergent cleaning schedules and procedures are in place using a product which is active against bacteria and viruses.
  • We will ensure our staff and cleaners are all trained on “Cleaning for non-healthcare environments during COVID-19” as advised by Public Health England.[5]
  • We will ensure regular (at least twice daily) cleaning of commonly touched objects and surfaces (e.g. telephones, keyboards, door handles, desks and tables).
  • minimising the use of touchpoints throughout our building.  We have introduced fire-release doors to keep doors open to prevent touching of handles.  We have introduced “StepNPull Foot operated door openers” in our bathrooms to reduce touching door handles.
  • We have trained our staff to conduct face-to-face discussions outdoors at a distance of 2m apart and trained our staff to use Zoom and Whattsapp video calls for discussions with clients or other staff members to help replace the need for face-to-face discussion
  • We will ensure any crockery and cutlery in shared kitchen areas is cleaned with warm general purpose detergent and dried thoroughly before being stored for re-use.
  • We will ensure good ventilation (e.g. keep windows open where appropriate).
  • We will ensure boxes of tissues are available in each room near hand sanitiser areas

Everyone using our facility and all staff must ensure good hygiene practices to help prevent spread:

  • Perform hand hygiene regularly using soap and water or alcohol based hand rub particularly before and after eating.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid direct contact with people that have a respiratory illness wherever possible.
  • Avoid using personal items (e.g. mobile phone) of people that have a respiratory illness wherever possible. Cover the nose and mouth with a disposable tissue when sneezing, coughing, wiping and blowing the nose. Dispose of all used tissues promptly into a waste bin. If you don’t have any tissues available, cough and sneeze into the crook of the elbow. Wash hands at the first opportunity.

Public Toilets [6]

Enhanced Cleaning

  • We have increased the frequency of cleaning of our toilets. Our toilets will be cleaned after every hire.
  • We have reviewed use of our cleaning products to ensure they are disinfectant based and not detergent-based product
  • During the day when hires are using our building we will ensure a 2 hourly cleaning of: frequently touched areas including toilet flush, toilet seat, toilet locks and handles, taps, paper towel and soap dispensers and door handles on access/entry
  • We will have enhanced monitoring of facilities to ensure hygiene is maintained by a 2hourly check of all toilets
  • We have introduced an enhanced cleaning rota and will ensure it is adhered to
  • We have introduced a cleaning schedule that details the manner and frequency of cleaning of the various surfaces
  • Our cleaners will use PPE when cleaning the toilets including disposable gloves, apron (disposable or cleaned after each use) and face mask.
  • Our cleaning staff are undergoing training in appropriate cleaning methods for sanitary areas and the use of the equipment and products for cleaning and disinfection
  • We have introduced “StepNPull Foot operated door openers” in our toilets to reduce touching door handles.


  • reusable equipment has been removed from toilets
  • we have introduced hands-free waste disposal units
  • we have introduced cleaning materials for surfaces – antibacterial surface wipes available in each toilet and at baby changing unit


  • We have introduced  signs and posters to: build awareness of good handwashing technique and reinforce the need to increase handwashing frequency, to avoid touching your face; and to cough or sneeze into a tissue, which is binned safely, or into your arm if a tissue is not available
  • We have a sign up with a contact number for the public to use should they have any concerns regarding cleanliness
  • We have signage up to tell the public what to do if someone falls ill with suspected COVID within a toilet facility
  • Our toilets will be closed and adhoc cleaning be arranged should the need arise

Hand Hygiene

  • We ensure liquid soap is adequately stocked at all times
  • We provide hand-drying facilities –paper towels with appropriate and frequent waste disposal and electric hand driers
  • We have introduced “StepNPull Foot operated door openers” in our toilets to reduce touching door handles on exit.
  • We have introduced   hand sanitiser gel at the entry and exit from each toilet.

Physical Distancing

  • We have limited the number of people who can use our toilets: gent’s toilet – 1 person at a time.  Ladies toilet – 2 persons at a time.  We have clear signage on our toilet doors and also Toilet Door sliders to ensure people know when toilet is occupied or free.
  • We have introduced signage on floor of lady’s toilets and a divider to ensure social distancing is kept in the lady’s toilet.
  • We have included in the toilets signage and floor markings to emphasise social distancing
  • We have introduced a divider in the lady’s toilet to ensure when 2 people are using them, they are separated at either side of the toilet
  • We have introduced a one way system in toilet corridor to ensure physical distancing in corridor

Physical Distancing

  • We have reviewed the layout of our facility and introduced a one way system (see video below) and signage with clear markings.
  • We have reviewed our offices for our staff and will not allow the office to be used by more than one person until such times as the Scottish government allows indoor offices to be re-opened.
  • We will stagger entry and exit times to prevent bottlenecks arising as people arrive or leave for a meeting at the conference centre
  • The Conference Centre is staffed currently by one member of staff and one cleaner so social distancing will be adhered to by staff members
  • We have put out floor stickers, large banners and wall posters to remind people of the need for social distancing.
  • We have put up signs to remind people of no physical contact or handshaking

Dealing with Emergencies

  • In case of an emergency, event organisers must be aware of their nearest fire exits and explain to all of their group at the start of each day how to evacuate and congregate safely while maintaining physical distancing

First Aid

The Vine Church will have trained First Aiders on duty.  Those practicing First Aid at the Vine will have updated their knowledge on how to respond safely during Coronavirus and will record and document updated training on a record form.[7]

Stay at Home Guidance

Stay at home guidance for people who have symptoms or have a COVID-19 diagnosis (whether they have symptoms or not), and their household members (household isolation)[8]

It’s very important that you stay at home if you have symptoms that may be caused by coronavirus (COVID-19). You should also stay at home if someone you live with or someone in your extended household has symptoms.

Household isolation will help to control the spread of the virus to friends, the wider community and the most vulnerable.  See full guidance here.

People who are required to self-isolate should not attend work or the Vine church. This includes:

  • –  Individuals who have developed COVID-19 symptoms or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 (whether they have symptoms or not) – they should follow self-isolation guidance on NHS Inform and Test and Protect
  • –  Individuals from the same household as someone who has symptoms of COVID-19 or who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (whether they have symptoms or not) – they should follow self-isolation guidance on NHS Inform and Test and Protect
  • –  Individuals who have been identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 – they should follow self-isolation guidance on NHS Inform and Test and Protect

Individuals who are clinically vulnerable or shielding should follow up to date guidance from NHS Inform, Scottish Government and their workplace.[9]

Dealing with someone who becomes unwell

What action needs to be taken if someone becomes unwell with symptoms of COVID- 19 whilst on site at your organisation?

In preparation, make sure that all staff and individuals in your workplace/organisation, including children and young people, know to inform a member of staff or responsible person if they feel unwell. The following guidance may need to be adapted to ensure a responsible adult is there to support the individual where required.

If the affected person has mild symptoms they should go home as soon as they notice symptoms and follow the guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection. Where possible they should minimise contact with others, e.g. use a private vehicle to go home. If it is not possible to use private transport, then they should be advised to return home quickly and directly, and if possible, wear a face covering in line with Scottish Government guidance. If using public transport, they should try to keep away from other people and catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue. If they don’t have any tissues available, they should cough and sneeze into the crook of the elbow.

If they are so unwell that they require an ambulance, phone 999 and let the call handler know you are concerned about COVID-19. Whilst you wait for advice or an ambulance to arrive, try to find somewhere safe for the unwell person to sit which is at least 2 metres away from other people.

If possible and it is safe to do so, find a room or area where they can be isolated behind a closed door, such as a staff office or meeting room. If it is possible to open a window, do so for ventilation. The individual should avoid touching people, surfaces and objects and be advised to cover their mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when they cough or sneeze, and then put the tissue in the bin. If no bin is available, put the tissue in a bag or pocket for disposing in a bin later. If you don’t have any tissues available, they should cough and sneeze into the crook of their elbow. Where possible, a separate bathroom should be designated for the individual to use. Once the individual has left, follow advice below.[10]

Contact with a case of COVID-19

Everyone should follow guidance for contacts of cases of COVID-19 when advised to do so. Individuals identified as a contact of a case of COVID-19 should follow advice on self- isolation. For further information, see Scottish Government’s collection of guidance on Test and Protect and NHS Inform.

Asymptomatic individuals living in the same household as someone with symptoms or a confirmed case of COVID-19 should follow household isolation (stay at home) advice on NHS Inform.

Environmental decontamination (cleaning and disinfection) after a possible case has left a workplace or other non-healthcare setting

Cleaning and Disinfection

Once a possible case has left the premises, the immediate area occupied by the individual, e.g. desk space, should be cleaned with detergent to remove organic matter such as dust or body fluids then a disinfectant to kill pathogens. This should include any potentially contaminated high contact areas such as door handles, telephones and grab-rails. Once this process has been completed, the area can be put back into use.

Any public areas where a symptomatic or COVID-19 diagnosed individual has only passed through (spent minimal time in), e.g. corridors, and which are not visibly contaminated with any body fluids, do not need to be further decontaminated beyond routine cleaning processes.

Environmental cleaning and disinfection should be undertaken using disposable cloths and mop heads using standard household detergent and disinfectant that are active against viruses and bacteria. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for dilution, application and contact times for all detergents and disinfectants. All cloths and mop heads used must be disposed of and should be put into waste bags as outlined below. The person responsible for undertaking the cleaning with detergent and disinfectant should be familiar with these processes and procedures.

In the event of a blood and body fluid spillage, keep people away from the area. Use a spill- kit if available, using the personal protective equipment (PPE) within the kit or PPE provided by the employer/organisation, and follow the instructions provided with the spill-kit. If no spill- kit is available, place paper towels over the spill, and seek further advice from the local Health Protection Team.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for environmental decontamination

Occupations should continue to use any PPE required as per local policies (business as usual). If a risk assessment of the setting indicates that a higher level of contamination may be present (for example, where unwell individuals have slept such as a hotel room or boarding school dormitory) or there is visible contamination with body fluids, then the need for additional PPE, such as an apron and gloves, should be considered.


Ensure all waste items that have been in contact with the individual (e.g. used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths) are disposed of securely within disposable bags. When full, the plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied. These bags should be stored for 72 hours before being put out for collection. Other general waste can be disposed of as normal.


Wash items in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest water setting and dry items completely. Dirty laundry that has been in contact with an unwell person should be laundered separately where possible. Do not shake dirty laundry, as this minimises the possibility of dispersing virus through the air.

Clean and disinfect anything used for transporting laundry with your usual products, in line with the cleaning guidance above.

If you do not have access to a washing machine in your setting, ensure dirty laundry is kept bagged at home for 72 hours before taking to the launderette.

After handling dirty laundry ensure hand hygiene is carried out.[11]

Face Coverings [12]

It is important to note the difference between face masks and face coverings. Face masks are surgical or medical grade masks that are used in health and social care situations. The use of face masks is not currently recommended for the general population. There is no evidence of benefit to support the use of face masks outside healthcare environments. Face coverings are made from cloth or other textiles that cover the mouth and nose, and through which you can breathe (e.g. a scarf).

Physical distancing, hand washing and respiratory hygiene, are the most important and effective measures we can all adopt to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Therefore the wearing of facial coverings must not be used as an alternative to any of these other precautions. There are some circumstances when wearing a face covering may be marginally beneficial as a precautionary measure. The evidence suggests that wearing a face covering does not protect you, but it may protect others if you are infected but have not developed symptoms.

A face covering can be very simple and may be worn in enclosed spaces where social distancing isn’t possible. It just needs to cover your mouth and nose. Face coverings are not the same as the PPE used to manage risks like dust and spray in an industrial context. Supplies of PPE, including face masks, must continue to be reserved for those who need them to protect against risks in their workplace, such as health and care workers, and those in industrial settings like those exposed to dust hazards.

Employers should support their workers in using face coverings safely if they choose to wear one. This means telling workers:

  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on, and after removing it
  • when wearing a face covering, avoid touching your face or face covering, as you could contaminate them with germs from your hands
  • change your face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it
  • continue to wash your hands regularly
  • change and wash your face covering daily
  • if the material is washable, wash in line with manufacturer’s instructions. If it’s not washable, dispose of it carefully in your usual waste
  • practice social distancing wherever possible

The Scottish Government have published guidance on use of face coverings.[13]The guidance also contains detail of exemptions and reasonable excuses not to wear a face covering.

In it’s guidance for the safe use of places of worship the Scottish government recommends:

Face coverings

“In enclosed spaces, where physical distancing is more difficult and where there is a risk of close contact with multiple people who are not members of your household, you should wear a face covering.

This will be particularly important where interactions within a 2 metre distance are essential for faith-specific requirements, although these interactions should be avoided.

The wearing of face coverings must not be used as an alternative to other precautions including physical distancing, hand washing and respiratory hygiene.”[14]

Read guidance on the use of face coverings.

As a result, we will ask everyone using the church to wear a face covering until they are seated.  The seats will be arranged to be at least 2m apart so that people can remove their face covering if they wish, as the risk of close contact is greatly reduced.  A face covering should be work before and after the service ends and if going to the toilets.

Provision of Food

We are not currently preparing or providing food or beverages until we receive clearer guidance from the Scottish government. As a result, our kitchen and café will remain closed. Our café is sectioned off to provide a corridor for our one-way system.

Key Risk Factors for Events

Crowd Density

For each request to use our facility, we have to consider whether it is possible to put in place physical distancing for attendees and employees in order to reduce the risk of transmission.

The maximum number of people we are allowed to have together as of July 2020 is 50 people and this will only take place in our very large main hall.

Registering Attendees at Events

Each attendee to our services will need to book in advance and there are only 50 places per service.

Every attendee at our services will need to be registered.  Please complete the attendee registration form at ….. before coming to the service.

We will inform all attendees before arriving at the church information about behaviours and lowering risks of transmission.  We will do this through a mandatory training video, online questions and a signed agreement.

This register of attendees will assist with contact tracing in the event that someone attending the event does have coronavirus.

Here’s a copy of our Test and Protect Collection of Personal Data – Privacy Notice

This is following guidance from the Scottish Government published 14th July 2020.  If I have staff or volunteers which use the building I must also provide the Conference Centre Manager with the following details:

  • The names of staff and volunteers who work at the premises
  • A contact phone number for each member of staff and volunteer
  • The dates and times that staff and volunteers are at work

“Collecting contact details will be voluntary, but it is important that both premises and individuals cooperate, as it will be crucial to national efforts to suppress the virus. This measure forms part of enabling premises to open safely, minimising the risk of the number of infections increasing, and will reduce the risk of requiring future restrictions.”

Demographics of attendees

Update 24.07.2020.

Because the Scottish government has decided to pause shielding, those who are at higher risk and those who are shielding can now follow the same guidance as the rest of Scotland.  Here is the latest advice from the Scottish government:

“Pausing shielding

We will be pausing shielding from 1 August. This is because the levels of infection in Scotland are low enough for us to do this.

This will mean that you can follow the same guidance as the rest of Scotland. To stay safe, you should strictly follow physical distancing and hygiene measures. From 1 August, we expect that it will be safe enough for you to:

  • return to work or school
  • return to university or college as part of the phased return to campus
  • go inside pubs and restaurants
  • attend places of worship for congregational services, communal prayer and contemplation”

The information that follows was advice prior to 24.07.2020:

Certain groups are at higher risk from coronavirus, such as those over 70 and those from BAME backgrounds.

The Scottish government advice for those shielding and at higher risk is:

“People at higher risk/shielding

Certain groups of people are at higher risk of developing severe illness from COVID-19. Guidance on individuals who fall into this higher risk group can be found on the NHS Inform website.

People in this higher risk group are advised to stay at home as much as possible. If they do go out they are advised to take particular care to minimise contact with others outside their household.

Places of worship should give special consideration to worshippers, staff members and volunteers who fall within this higher risk group, or who live with people in this group. Faith leaders may wish to discourage this group from attending places of worship during this time, or set aside specific time for them to attend for individual prayer or contemplation.

It is strongly advised that those who are considered to be extremely clinically vulnerable (shielding group) do not attend places of worship to keep themselves safe. Anyone who is shielding should continue to follow government advice on this.

It is recommended that places of worship continue to stream worship or prayer services to continue to reach those individuals who are self-isolating or at higher risk of developing severe illness from COVID-19.”[15]

The higher risk group is:

This group includes people who are:

And those with:

  • chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
  • chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
  • chronic kidney disease
  • chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
  • chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
  • diabetes
  • problems with their spleen, for example sickle cell disease
  • a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
  • a BMI of 40 or above who are seriously overweight [16]

As a result of this guidance it seems that those in this higher risk group or who are shielding should not yet attend service at the Vine church but we will live stream our services and make them available to attend via Zoom also.

Other Measures

As recommended by the Scottish government[17] we have introduced and will ensure the following measures are also adhered to:

  • Services will limited to 75 minutes to reduce the time spent gathered together and therefore reduce the risk of transmission
  • individuals will be prevented from touching objects that are handled communally.
  • individuals will avoid touching property belonging to others
  • communal resources such as sheets/books/leaflets are removed from use. If single use alternatives are used these should be removed by the worshipper
  • any personal items brought in to aid worship are removed by the user
  • scientific and medical advice around the transmission risk of activities such as singing, chanting, shouting and the playing of wind or other instruments that require breath to operate is still being developed. This activity should be avoided both in congregational worship and in rehearsal.  As a result we will ask the congregation not to sing or shout during the service.
  • where essential to an act of worship, a single individual may sing or chant behind a Plexi-glass screen. Any screen used should be cleaned regularly.  As a result our worship team will have one singer singing behind a glass screen at least 5m from the congregation.
  • other instruments that do not require breath to operate may be played (for example, church organs). Communal instruments should be cleaned regularly.
  • the consumption of food and drink is avoided where it is not essential to the act of worship. Where it is essential to the act of worship, the use of communal vessels is avoided.  As a result, the café will remain closed and there will be no tea or coffee available.
  • other mitigations for the preparation and handling of food which is essential to the act of worship are taken, including strict hand hygiene, pre-wrapping food items, use of face coverings and avoiding the sharing of cutlery, crockery or utensils.  As a result when we share communion we will ensure purchase of individually wrapped wine and bread portions.
  • “cash giving is discouraged, with online giving used instead. Where cash offerings continue, any receptacle should be set in one place and not handled communally. Any person who has handled money should wash their hands thoroughly afterwards and avoid touching their face”. As a result we will have one offering bucket and a one way system for people to drop their money into it in a socially distanced orderly manner.
  • once services are complete, worshippers are encouraged to move on promptly. At the end or the service we will ask each person to leave the building immediately and will do this in an orderly fashion, one row at a time.  There will be a one-way system in place for leaving the building.

Venue or Site Visitors

The Scottish Government recommends:

“Many venues or sites, especially larger ones, may normally have several contractors and visitors not employed by the event organiser running the venue / site. This presents increased risk of virus transmission if people do not adhere to the same interpretation of rules. To address this risk event organisers should consider limiting venue / site access to those who need to be there for safe operation, ensuring safe working practices and production related activities and implementing a permit to work system for contractors and external visitors who still need to access the site. This would set out requirements for how everyone behaves on a site including entering and leaving the site, clarifying responsibilities for all around maintaining good hygiene and physical distancing.”[18]

As a result we will ask all delivery drivers not to enter our building but to knock on front door or telephone ….  Mr Tim Thomson, Vine Conference Centre Manager will go outside to receive all deliveries and ask delivery drivers to sign their own paperwork for their delivery.

No visitors are allowed to enter the building.  Signs will be displayed clearly outside our building to ask all visitors not to enter our facility but to knock on main door or telephone…. And a person will go outside to speak to them.

Meeting Outdoors

After the service we can consider groups of up to 15 people from 4 other households meeting outside according to current guidance:[19]  This could be encouraged either outside the Vine Church at the rear in car park, or in a local park or in a person’s garden.  The guidelines below would need to be strictly adhered to:

Meeting others: outdoors

In Phase 3 you can meet and take part in outdoor recreation with people from up to 4 other households at a time. You should meet in small numbers – no more than 15 people in total at a time.

You should stay at least 2 metres apart from people from other households at all times.

You should not meet people from more than 4 other households in total each day (whether indoors and/or outdoors).

Meeting no more than 4 other households each day will limit the risk that someone who had the virus without realising it could infect multiple households on the same day.

You should:

  • stay at least 2 metres away from anyone who is not part of your household
  • maintain hand and cough hygiene
  • avoid touching with your hands hard surfaces such as gates, walls, fences and park benches
  • follow advice on the NHS Inform website about physical distancing and hygiene and wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • take an alcohol-based hand rub (hand sanitiser) with you and use it often, especially before eating or after touching surfaces
  • do not share food or utensils – if eating, each household should bring, prepare and eat their own food separately

Those who are shielding and those at a higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus (including people over 70, people who are pregnant and people with an underlying medical condition) should strictly follow the physical distancing guidance.

It is particularly important that people who have been advised to shield, continue to follow shielding guidance.

Children and young people (aged 0 to17): outdoors

The same rules apply to children as adults, except:

  • children aged 0 to 11 do not need to maintain physical distancing. There is no limit to the number of households that children aged 0-11 can meet in one day
  • young people aged 12 to 17 can meet up to 15 people from up to 4 other households at a time, same as adults. But there is no limit to the number of households that they can meet in one day.  This means that young people can meet their friends separately from meetings that other members of their household may be having

[1] https://hpspubsrepo.blob.core.windows.net/hps-website/nss/2973/documents/1_covid-19-guidance-for-non-healthcare-settings.pdf

[2]Consistent with the advice set out from the Advisory Group above we will retain 2 metres as the default physical distancing requirement for Phase 3, as it has been in previous phases of the Route Map. We are, however, intending to make exceptions to this 2 metre requirement for a limited number of sectors and settings, following agreement of appropriate and necessary mitigating measures. These exceptions would take into account the wider harms caused by the 2 metre rule – to broader health, the economy and society – as well as transmission risk, particularly in known high-transmission risk settings. In such sectors and settings where the exception applies, individual workplaces, premises or settings may be permitted to move to 1 metre distancing only where agreed risk mitigation measures are in place. Potential illustrative examples are set out below.”  https://www.gov.scot/publications/covid-19-scotlands-route-map-through-out-crisis-update-approach-physical-distancing-light-advice-scottish-government-covid-19-advisory-group/pages/2/

[3] In addition to this we are also introducing two new measures to come into effect on 3 July for children and young people that should allow significant improvements to their quality of life, particularly during the school holidays.

[4] https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-phase-3-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship/

[5] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings

[6] https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-public-and-customer-toilets-guidance/pages/hygiene-measures/

[7] https://blog.redcrossfirstaidtraining.co.uk/what-can-i-do-as-a-first-aider-at-work-or-in-public-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak See also “Vine Church and Conference Centre Exit Lockdown and Return to Work Report” ADDENDUM IV – COVID-19 Guidance for First Aiders

[8] https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19/test-and-protect/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-infection

[9] https://hpspubsrepo.blob.core.windows.net/hps-website/nss/2973/documents/1_covid-19-guidance-for-non-healthcare-settings.pdf

[10] https://hpspubsrepo.blob.core.windows.net/hps-website/nss/2973/documents/1_covid-19-guidance-for-non-healthcare-settings.pdf

[11] https://hpspubsrepo.blob.core.windows.net/hps-website/nss/2973/documents/1_covid-19-guidance-for-non-healthcare-settings.pdf

[12] https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-events-sector-guidance/pages/operational-guide-and-checklist/

[13] https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-phase-3-staying-safe-and-protecting-others/pages/face-coverings/

[14] https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-phase-3-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship/pages/health-and-safety/

[15] https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-phase-3-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship/pages/people-at-higher-risk-shielding/

[16] https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-covid-19-general-advice

[17] https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-phase-3-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship/pages/individual-and-congregational-worship/

[18] https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-events-sector-guidance/pages/deliveries-distribution-and-visitors/

[19] https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-phase-3-staying-safe-and-protecting-others/pages/seeing-friends-and-family/

[20] https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-covid-19-general-advice

[i] https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-phase-3-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship/pages/individual-and-congregational-worship/

Sunday Services

Lots of people attend church here every Sunday. We meet at 10am..

Looking for a church?

Contact us to find out more about the Vine Church. We would be happy to answer any of your questions.

Listen Online

If you have missed any of our Sunday services or would like to listen to our latest sermons you can catch up here.