Dear members and friends of Portland

The easing of restrictions by the Scottish Government has allowed the possibility of

Portland Church reopening its building for worship.  We hope to reopen the church for Sunday worship soon, but we must be cautious in our approach following the best advice on offer from the Scottish Government and the Church of Scotland.

We can only reopen the church building for worship if we put the following measures in place to ensure that everyone can worship in as safe an environment as possible.

The worship service will last around 20 minutes.

There can be no singing.

Only the church sanctuary will be used.

Entry will be by the front west door and a one-way system will be operated.

Everyone must give their name and contact details (for Trace and Protect, if required).

A maximum of 50 people are allowed in the building.

People must sit at a marked pew space (families may sit together).

Exit will be by the two front doors and the west side-door.

We must all follow the latest Scottish Government guidelines by:

Maintaining physical distancing advice (currently 2m).

Washing or sanitising our hands on entering.

Wearing a suitable face covering while in the building.

Wiping down hard surfaces on entry and before we leave.

The church sanctuary will be cleaned before worship and all hymn books and bibles removed from the pews.  Pew cushions will also have to be removed to allow the seats to be wiped clean.  You can bring your own cushion and bible if you wish but they must be removed from the church as you leave.  A collection box will be available for free-will envelopes and/or cash donations in the vestibule of the church (no collection during the service).

We will continue to provide an online worship service which can be accessed via Portland Church’s website or via Facebook. You can also listen to the worship service by telephone.

We fully understand that returning to a worship service in the church building is a personal decision and we are all asked to be cautious and careful.  We are all God’s children and we will look after each other.  Worship God in a place that you feel safe.  We hope to be able to intimate a reopening date for Sunday worship soon.

Pray for our Interim Moderator, Bill Duncan and our Locum Minister, Rev Mary

Elizabeth Prentice-Hyers.  Pray for the isolated members of our community and help those you can.

May God’s peace be with You,

John Reid (Session Clerk)