Ready to Open in the Amber Stage 


139 Castor St, Russell, ON K4R 1C7 

Ready to Open in the Amber Stage 

September 20, 2020 

Effective September 20, 2020 St. Mary’s will offer two ways to worship each Sunday.  There will be a 9:00 a.m. Holy Communion service at the church in the hall, and for those who are not yet comfortable meeting in public, the Zoom Morning Prayer service will continue at the new time of 10:30 am.   For the Morning Prayer Zoom service, an invitation with login information will be sent each week, as has been the custom throughout the summer. 

These months that we, the church community, have not been able to meet face to face have been difficult and many are looking forward to coming to in-church worship and Holy Communion.  But we are returning to a new reality, so please take the time to review the following to help make meeting together again as safe as possible.  

Welcome home to in-church worship.  Here’s what to expect:


Prior to attending the 9:00 a.m. Holy Communion service we require you to pre-register before noon on Thursday by sending an email to or by phoning the church office at 613-445-3226.   Please include your name, telephone number, the number attending in your family or circle/bubble, and the Sunday you wish to attend.  This is necessary because, although our parish survey indicated that we should be able to manage all those interested in church worship, on any given Sunday more individuals may wish to attend than we can safely accommodate according to Diocese and Eastern Ontario Health Unit restrictions. 

You will receive a confirmation email prior to the service.  In the confirmation email, you will be reminded of social distancing practices, mask wearing requirements, sign-in procedures, and you will be required to complete a self-evaluation questionnaire which includes pre-screening for symptoms of COVID-19, and asks if you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, is awaiting a COVID-19 test result, or who has been ordered to self-quarantine or quarantine.   

Symptoms of COVID-19 can vary from person to person.  Symptoms may also vary in different age groups.  Some of the more commonly reported symptoms include: 

  • new or worsening cough         
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing 
  • temperature equal to or over 38°C (or 100.4°F) 
  • feeling feverish 
  • chills 
  • fatigue or weakness/ falling down 
  • muscle or body aches 
  • new loss of smell or taste 
  • headache 
  • gastrointestinal symptoms (abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting) 
  • feeling very unwell 
  • sore throat/difficulty swallowing 
  • nasal congestion/runny nose 
  • pink eye 

Children have been more commonly reported to have sluggishness, abdominal symptoms, and skin changes or rashes. 

If you believe you cannot comply with the requirements, answer any of the self-evaluation questions positively, or are part of a high-risk group, PLEASE DO NOT COME TO THE CHURCH. 


In order to help ensure the health and safety of everyone who comes to our service, the church building will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized before and after each service.  

Sunday morning, before you attend the service, please screen yourself again for COVID-19 symptoms.  If you feel unwell please stay home.  

The size of the congregation is limited to no more than 50 people, or one-third of our seated capacity.  In our hall with 2 metre distancing, we will be able to seat approximately 18-24 parishioners, depending on how many attend in groups or individually.   

You will be provided a personal copy of the BAS which you will use for the duration of COVID-19.  

All those who come to church will be required to wear a mask.  If you have your own mask, please bring it with you and put it on before you enter the building.  If you don’t have a mask, or forget it, disposable masks will be available at the entrance to the church.  


You will notice distance markings of 2 meters on the outside ramp and on the floors inside the church building.  Please use these marking to distance yourself from the parishioners not in your family or circle/bubble who may be arriving, or waiting to sign-in or be seated, in the entrance foyer.   

There will be hand sanitizer dispensers at the entrance (and exit) of the church.  You will be asked to sanitize your hands on entering and exiting the church.  

When you arrive for a service you will be asked to sign-in with your name and telephone number or email address.  We are required to collect this information to help with contact tracing in case someone, who has been here, later develops COVID-19.  You will also be asked if you have any COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to anyone who is ill in the last 14 days.  If you have, you cannot be admitted to the service.  

Please arrive 15 minutes early, be patient and keep your distance when entering the church so as not to crowd others.  Please wait to be escorted to your seat. A seating assignment will have been made for each service in accordance with Diocese and Eastern Ontario Health Unit directions.  Please take all of your belongings with you to your seat; hang your coat, purse, etc on the back of your chair. Please do not leave any of your belongings in the church or foyer.  


Physical distancing will be maintained at all times.  There must be no touching of other people at any point before, during or after the service. 

An offering plate will be available on the table near the hall rear door. It will not be passed during the service. It is suggested that you continue to use an alternate method of giving, such as PAWS, to limit the need to handle paper and money.  

The congregation is not permitted to sing.  

You need not move to the altar at communion time — Anne will bring communion (bread only) to where you sit. She will drop the wafer into your open hands, and you will quickly raise your mask to put it in your mouth, then put your mask back on again. You will be offered hand sanitizer at this point. Anne will sanitize her hands frequently, as well.  


Please remain in your seat until directed to leave. Once directed to leave, those closest to the rear hall exit door should leave first, followed by the next closest congregants, and so on. Please maintain social distancing and sanitize your hands prior to exiting the hall. The chairs will be sanitized by the cleaner and put away.  


Areas of the church not necessary for worship will be closed.   

Only the washroom at the entrance of the hall is available for use. The washroom should only be used when urgently needed because they must be disinfected after each use. Disinfecting wipes are located in the washroom and the person using must wipe all touch surfaces following use.  

To keep everyone safe and healthy, you are asked to maintain physical distancing from others not in your bubble/circle at all times in the church, and on walkways/parking areas before and after the service.  

Please do not feel obliged to return to in-person worship if you do not feel ready to do so, for any reason. However, if you change your mind please pre-register by email or telephone, as noted on page 1. 

For more information you may visit our website: or call the church: 613-445-3226.


This was adapted from a brochure created by the Parish in the Valley. We thank them for their work.