Emmanuel will reopen for Public Worship on Sunday 6 December 2020. This will give many of us the opportunity to get back into some normality as lockdown continues to ease and we gain more confidence to be ‘out and about’ after being in isolation for so long.

We plan to have both 8.30 am and 10.30 am services taking place (though the 10.30 am service will be a shortened service, similar to our online version).

Those attending services will need to register online for each individual service on a WEEKLY BASIS (please enter one name per entry) this will also enable us to manage our numbers and make it easier to comply with ‘Test & Trace’ etc. There will be an opportunity for a people to complete a ‘Test & Trace’ form on arrival for those  unable to book online and for those who may choose to attend on the ‘spur of the moment’. However, pre-registration will ensure a minimal queue as people arrive.

You can register for our 8.30 am and 10.30 am Sunday services here 

As some people are still self-isolating because of COVID-19, and may not be attending church, we are happy to receive a video of your Sermon, Bible Reading or Prayers for the 10.30 am services. Do let us know if you are recording your contribution. Paul and Richard will both need a copy.



The Government and CofE guidelines now suggest that Face Masks are compulsory for all those attending a place of worship.  The only exceptions are:

  • Those leading services (including preacher, those leading prayers or reading the Bible passage).
  • Children under the age of 11 yrs.
  • Those who are exempt from wearing Face Masks because of health conditions.
  • Whilst you are receiving Holy Communion.

FACE MASKS Please remember the correct way to wear a face mask is over the nose AND the mouth not just the mouth. This helps protects yourself and the people around you. Please gently remind those around you who may not be wearing face masks correctly in church.

The latest guidelines from 1 December say: “A face visor or shield may be worn in addition to a face covering but not instead of one. This is because face visors or shields do not adequately cover the nose or mouth.”

We will have a supply of disposable Face Masks available if you forget to bring yours with you – donations gratefully received.

This is the official guideline from Sunderland City Council.  Makes sense doesn’t it?

We will not be able to allow the 10.30 am attendees to enter church until chairs, touchpoint’s and toilets are sanitised after the 8.30 am service. In addition, if we are unable to safely manage people passing through then we may not be able to open as we would want to.  If you would be willing to volunteer to help ensure that Sunday services run smoothly, and to ensure chairs, touchpoint’s and toilets are sanitised in-betweens services, please let Alan know alan.morgan@billericaychurches.org 

We intend to livestream our 10.30 am Sunday services on the Emmanuel YouTube.   Channel 


NB. These guidelines are liable to be updated over the coming weeks.   

Our Risk Assessment includes strict protocols regarding movement in church with a one-way system in place with a separate entrance (glass doors) and exit (fire doors). There will be the usual sanitising of hands on entrance and exit. There is an expectation that the church will fill up from the FRONT  first and exit from the FRONT when the service is over. Please help us to help you by following instructions given to you on the day.  Please note that windows will be open to aid in ventilation – be sure to wear an extra jumper just in case it’s cold outside!

With physical distancing in place we will only be able to accommodate a maximum of 70 people seated at any one service (including ‘bum seats’) see video below.  Families and/or bubbles will be able to move chairs to sit together – please arrive with those whom you want to sit next to. Please do not sit on more than one chair and you must remain seated and not walk around to talk to other church members before the service begins.

Depending on numbers, we have the option to overflow into the hall, but there would be no video link. There is also the option of a repeat service in the afternoon/evening if there is enough interest.

Please complete the EMMANUEL LOCKDOWN SURVEY  to help us in our final decision making on whether we’ll have too many people wanting to attend our 10.30 am services in September.

One of the guidelines for public worship is that windows and doors are open for ventilation.  This may mean the church could be a little chilly at times! Please be sure to wear something warm – just in case.

You may have heard that congregational singing is not permitted (though members may wish to hum along or sing gently under their breath or tap their feet!). We do, however, have the option of one person leading our worship as long as they are behind a Perspex screen!  Singing through a mask is not permitted. It maybe that we will continue with videos (as we have done online) for the first few weeks at our 10.30 am service.

These can be used as long as they are put into quarantine for 72 hours before using again.  Church members are encouraged to bring their own Bibles to church.  Service sheets will be used on a weekly basis at the 8.30 am service. We will continue to use PowerPoint at our 10.30 am service and service sheets for Communion.

There will be a tray for offerings as people arrive in church.

Unfortunately, due to CofE guidelines, we are not able to provide facilities for Creche, Kindergarten, Mini-Heroes, Heroes and Trinity Tribe.  We realise this is a great disappointment for young families and for us as a church family. However, we’re hoping to have Messy Church on 20 September as scheduled – watch out for details about this.

Might an additional monthly midweek Messy Church service in church be helpful or ?  Please email messychurch@billericaychurches.org with any suggestions you may have.

It is our intention to introduce Communion both services.  Please bear with us at the 10.30 am  – the numbers involved and how we distribute need to be carefully considered. However, whilst Saint Mary’s is closed for repairs and maintenance, we plan to hold a Communion service on Wednesday mornings at 10.00 am from September.

No decisions have been made as to how, and when, Prayer Ministry will take place. Watch this space for updates.

Toilets will be open, however, people will be expected to sanitise before/after their own use (they will be thoroughly cleaned after each service). Those wanting to use our facilities will be required to exit church by the fire exit and re-enter church by the glass doors. This is to limit crossover and minimise contact with other members.

We are not able to serve refreshments at the moment and everyone will be expected to leave church speedily. However, there is no restriction on time people can spend having conversations outdoors.

Emmanuel reopening December 2020