Returning To Church

Meeting In Person Safely

We’re excited to be meeting in person again!

We’re back to meeting at 9:30am and 11:30am at the Orwell Centre.

Our 9:30am service will be live streamed on our YouTube channel as we recognise that some people will not feel able to return yet to meeting in person and, with limited capacity in the building due to social distancing measures, we won’t be able to fit everyone in at this time.

Both services will be identical in their content and there will be children's and youth groups at both services. Our Hope Kids groups will be taking place from the outset of each service. 

The safety of everyone attending is of the utmost importance and government requirements are being followed in the service and around the building. 

Please click on the questions below to get a better understanding of what these services will entail and to see how we aim to make services as safe as possible.

Here are some answers to questions that you may have:

Yes. We anticipate that we will have a ticket booking system in place until mid-June, when the government roadmap out of lockdown is due to end. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis and we anticipate that our room capacity will grow in the weeks to come. Please book a ticket for every member of your household. Only members of your household or support bubble will be seated together. If you are serving on a team at the service we will register you, so please do not book your own ticket (if other members of your family are attending they will need to book). 
When booking your ticket you will have an arrival time in order to help us spread out the arrivals at the building. You will be checked in at the entrance and a record of your attendance will be kept for 21 days for track and trace purposes.  For the 9:30am service we need to start promptly because of the fact that we are live streaming that service, so please make sure you arrive in good time.  It might take a little while for us to get everyone inside in a socially distanced manner, so please be patient as the Welcome Team check you in and make sure you have been given all the information that you need for attending.  A one-way system will be in place in the building so please follow the instructions of the Welcome Team. Once checked in you will need to go straight to the auditorium and the seats you are directed to. Unfortunately we are not allowed to stop, chat and mingle with one another at this stage. 
By law every adult and every high-school aged child must wear a face covering when in the building unless they have a valid exemption from wearing one. We acknowledge that there will be some with valid reasons not to wear one and therefore we will not police this.  We’ll have disposable masks available on arrival if you’ve forgotten yours. Those leading the service at various points will not be required to wear a face covering at the point when they are addressing the church.  Please use hand sanitiser upon arrival and exit and before and after using the toilets. Sanitiser will be available in various places around the building.  Please maintain social distancing throughout the service and avoid hugging, handshakes or other physical contact with anyone outside your household or bubble. If you (or someone in your household) who has attended a service receive a positive COVID-19 test result, please inform our team as soon as possible by emailing office@hopeipswich.co.uk
Yes, places of worship are permitted to open up and hold services, as long as a risk assessment is in place and social distancing guidance is adhered to. There is no maximum limit to how many may gather however venues are limited in terms of how many can attend in a socially distanced manner. Thousands of churches have re-opened Sunday services all over the country.
Services will look different to what we are used to at Hope Church due to the social distancing guidance that is in place. Each service will be shorter, approximately 1 hour long. Singing from the congregation is discouraged by government guidance and therefore we will worship in other ways through reading psalms, prayers and creeds aloud together and through listening and reflecting to worship songs as the band sing and play. Some people will lead out in prayer on the microphone and each service will have a bible message and in some services we will have communion (bread and juice). 
We will be re-opening the Hope Kids and Legacy Youth groups from 18 April. All children will need to be booked in with a ticket for their groups. Those in the Hope Kids groups will go straight to their groups when they arrive, Legacy Youth will go out approximately 10-15 minutes into the service.
You will be directed by a member of the welcome team where to sit. We’ve arranged the chairs in rows and we will ensure each household / support bubble leaves approx 1.5 metres between them and another household / support bubble.
You can book your tickets through the buttons at the top or bottom of this page or via My Church Suite for those who already have a log in. Booking for each service will usually open on the Sunday before. If you have booked and are then not able to attend please cancel your ticket through the link on your confirmation email to ensure that others can take up the space. We must stress that punctuality is so important at this time and we reserve the right to give your ticket away if you are late for the service. 
We won’t be serving refreshments at this time so please bring with you any water or a flask of coffee if you wish. As we'll be leaving windows open around the venue, it will be wise to take warm clothes, particularly when the weather is cooler. 
Please do not attend if you experience any of the main symptoms of Covid-19: a fever, a new, continuous cough or a loss of taste or smell. Please stay home and arrange to have a test for Covid-19. If you or your household are unable to attend the service please cancel your ticket which will free the ticket up for someone else.
We understand that there will be some who don’t feel able to come along yet. Government guidance advises those who are aged 70 and over, or clinically vulnerable to remain at home and not attend, however we will not stop anyone from coming, the decision is their's alone.  If you do choose to attend, you should minimise any contact with others outside of your household. Given that many will be staying at home, until mid June we are going to continue to live stream the 9:30 service on our YouTube Channel.
We have many Life Groups taking place throughout the week. We also have prayer nights taking place - look out for these in our weekly newsletter.