September 2020

Phase 3 COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan

In-person gatherings for prayer and worship are now permitted within certain conditions, as described by the Government of Ontario and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health.  Cross Roads Be in Christ Church desires to prioritize the safety of our congregation and community by respecting government and public health guidelines while gathering for times of in-person worship.


Attendance Limits

  • Our gatherings will be limited to no more than 30% of our building capacity for indoor services or 100 people for outdoor services.


  • All individuals, including children, will be asked to self-screen for COVID-19 like symptoms prior to arrival.

  • Attendees of Sunday worship gatherings will check-in for contact tracing purposes and confirm that they have self-screened for COVID-19 like symptoms upon arrival.

  • The check-in / screening station will be set up and will be located outside of the church whenever possible.

  • We will deny entry to any individual who:

                 *Has COVID-19 symptoms

                 *Has come in close contact with a person with symptoms of COVID-19 or who has come in close                             contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19, in the past 14 days.

                 *Has travelled outside of Canada in the past 14 days

  • A COVID-19 self-screening poster will be posted at the entrance door.



  • We will require pre-registration for services.  

  •  If guests arrive who have not pre-registered we will allow entry only if pre-registration has not surpassed 30% building capacity.

  • We will keep attendance lists for contact tracing purposes.   These lists may be destroyed after 60 days.


Pre-and Post-service Socialization:

  • The encouraged location for socialization will be outside the building in a way that respects physical distancing (2 meters apart).  

  • Before service people will be encouraged to come in and make their way directly to their seats, without socializing in the foyer

  • Signs will be posted requiring physical distancing


Flow and physical distancing while in the building

  • Both the main entrance and the accessible entrance will be available to enter and exit the building.  

  • Check-in will provide a delayed and staggered entrance between households.

  • People will be asked to stagger their exit to maintain physical distancing.

  • The coat racks will not be used.  People will be encouraged to bring their personal belongings with them to their seat in the sanctuary.

Entry and exit procedures and timing

  • Those involved in service leadership may enter prior to the service for rehearsal / set up while adhering to all health and safety requirements

  • Doors to the church will be opened for attendees no more than 15 minutes prior to the event start time to discourage socialization inside the church

  • Upon completion of the service / meeting people will be encouraged to exit.  


Hand Hygiene

  • Hand sanitizer will be provided at the entrance with a sign requiring each person to use it upon entry

  • Soap and water and signage instructing about proper hand washing will be in the washrooms.



  • By order of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health non-medical face masks will be required during all indoor worship services and gatherings inside the church (unless where someone is exempt from wearing a mask under public health regulations)

  • Masks are required while singing outdoors.

  • Face shields are not a substitute for a mask, but may be used in addition to a mask if desired

  • Disposable masks will be provided for those who have forgotten to bring their own

  • People are encouraged to launder their masks regularly and bring a clean mask for use at the service.


Seating arrangements in the sanctuary

  • Seating for Sunday worship will be in family / household clusters physically distanced by 2 meters from other clusters

  • Seating will be assigned based on pre-registration

  • The number of individuals per-service will vary based on household cluster numbers and physical distancing requirements.  However, it will not exceed 30% of room capacity.


Addressing capacity limitations

  • The basement does offer a secondary seating location that could be explored at another time if need arises.


Tech team / sound booth protocols

  • Only one tech team member will be permitted at the back soundboard area

  • If a second tech team member is required for the service this person will be seated in an alternate, physically distanced location

  • Note: These protocols may be adjusted if the tech team members belong to the same family


Worship Team / on stage protocols

  • Those involved in on-stage elements of a live service are required to wear a mask unless they are actively speaking / singing (as permitted by public health regulations)

  • The stage should be set up in a way that respects 2 meter physical distancing between non-family members

  • Microphones should not be shared in one service and should be disinfected after use or left to quarantine for a minimum of 72 hours.


Baptism / Dedications

  • Baptisms and dedications may proceed but will be modified to comply with physical distancing requirements


Weddings / Funerals

  • Cross Roads’ pastors will officiate at weddings and funerals providing attendance limitations are respected and physical distancing is maintained.

  • Cross Roads facility may be used for weddings and funerals if attendance limitations are maintained, support is provided to maintain physical distancing among guests, and cleaning costs are covered.  



  • Indoor singing will be suspended until further notice.  The exceptions being pre-recording of music by the worship team for video use and worship team provided they are behind an approved barrier or physically distanced from all other attendees by at least 2 metres following Public Health regulations

  • Outdoor singing will be permitted if participants wear masks and practice physical distancing


Communion and Worship Aids

  • Communion will only be participated in if people bring their own elements from home or with individual pre-packaged communion products

  • Worship aids such as hymn books will not be used.  Readings, song lyrics etc. will be either projected or printed on a song sheet that is for individual use only and will be discarded after the service



  • Passing of the offering plate will be suspended.  An offering box or basket will be available for cash or cheque donations.

  • We will encourage online giving yet still accept physical donations of cash and cheques in the offering box / basket.

  • Tellers will practice good hand hygiene during the counting of the offering and must maintain physical distancing of 2 meters.  Disposable gloves will be available if desired.


Coffee / Refreshments, and meals

  • Coffee, refreshments, and potlucks will be on hold until further notice

  • People may eat together if they bring their own food that is not shared and remain physically distanced at least 2 meters from all non-family members


Online Worship Option

  • Online Sunday worship will continue to be made available.  We want all people to feel included and have the opportunity to worship with us.  Returning to in-person gathering is a personal decision that should only be made when each person is ready.


Children’s Ministry

  • In-person children’s ministry will be on hold until further notice

  • Parents will be encouraged to bring children if they are able to maintain physical distancing and follow other protocols

  • Parents may bring activities needed to keep their children occupied during services


Youth Ministry

  • Masks are required for all indoor youth activities.

  • Youth will meet outdoors as much as possible especially for games and activities


Small Groups

  • Small group participants will pre-register for the group and will agree to self-screen for COVID-19 like symptoms before attending any meeting

  • Groups may meet in private homes, at the church, or outdoors as long as physical distancing can be maintained.

  • Masks are required for all indoor small group meetings.

  • A meeting attendance list will be maintained

  • No shared food or drink will be served.  However, participants my bring their own.

  • Participants should not attend small group if they:

           *Have COVID-19 symptoms

           *Have come in close contact with a person with symptoms of COVID-19 or who has come in close                           contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19, in the past 14 days.

          *Have travelled outside of Canada in the past 14 days

Access to additional Rooms

  • The nursery will only be available to parents / caregivers of young children for diaper changing and feeding only


Washroom usage

  • The washrooms will be available for use

  • Signage about public health requirements and hand hygiene will be posted

  • Washroom facilities will be disinfected between services / events and not after each individual use. 


Cleaning of church surfaces

  • The church will be deep cleaned weekly by the custodian using cleaners with an 8 digit Drug Identification Number recommended by the Ontario government and public health

  • If smaller groups meet before or after the weekly deep cleaning of the church they will be responsible to appoint a cleaning volunteer(s) to disinfect high touch surfaces after the event.

  • Cleaning volunteers must follow the written instructions provided and if they are unclear ask for direction from the custodian or pastor.

  • Chairs that have been used will be left to quarantine for at least 72 hours before being used again.

  • The sanctuary chairs will be marked with coloured tape to allow them to be quarantined and rotated between groups using the church building.  Chairs will be rotated if less than 72 hours separates group use of the building.

Rental / Non-Church Use of the Church Facility

  • Rental of the church facility will be discontinued at this time.  The exception will be for weddings or funeral services.  

  • The church will not be made available for non-church functions or gatherings at this time.

  • People are able to meet outdoors on the grounds

Should someone develop COVID-19 like symptoms while at the Church

  • If anyone develops even one symptom of COVID-19 during the service or meeting they should leave the church immediately and self-isolate.  It is also advised they visit an assessment centre to be tested for COVID-19.

The Church Board met to discuss fall worship plans for Cross Roads.  It was our objective to create a plan that would:

  • Care for the spiritual health of our congregation and community

  • Learn from the Cross Roads re-gathering survey that many of you completed

  • Adhere to Government of Ontario and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDG) regulations

  • Continue to provide an online service option

  • Respect varying comfort levels in our congregation about re-gathering for in-person worship

  • Be sensitive to the significant adjustment families are experiencing as they resume in-person or online school and daycare for their children in September

  • Act with the well being of our congregation and community in mind as we determine a start date for re-gathering


The Church Board unanimously agreed to begin in-person worship services at the church on Thanksgiving Weekend, Sunday October 11, 2020 at 10:30 am.  This plan is contingent on Public Health regulations.  If we experience a second wave of the virus plans may need to be modified.

  • Attendance will be limited to 30 % of our building capacity

  • Pre-registration will be required (email for details)

  • All individuals will be screened (health questions) for COVID-19 symptoms / exposure before each service

  •  Seating will be physically distanced by household clusters 

  • If numbers of interested attenders surpass capacity, alternate week / cohort based attendance will be encouraged

  • In-person children’s classes will not be offered (by order of WDG Public Health and BIC Canada).  Children will remain with their family / caregiver.

  • Masks will be required during the service

  • There will be no indoor congregational singing; any singing by worship leaders will be done from behind a protective barrier.

  • Sharing of all common worship aids will be paused including passing the offering plate and shared communion (individual, pre-packaged communion supplies may be used)

  • An online service option will be available (livestream or recorded is still being considered based on technical issues)

  • The church will be disinfected using Government of Ontario advised cleaning products after each service and high touch surfaces will be also disinfected after small group meetings at the church.

  •   The service will be made available for online participation. 

The board is finalizing a detailed Phase 3 COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan for the church that will be shared at an upcoming date.  We also have a team assembled from our congregation, with workplace experience designing and implementing COVID-19 health and safety protocols.  This team will offer guidance and advice for refining health and safety plans and developing best practices for building flow and use at Cross Roads.


As always, I want to reassure everyone that you are to feel no pressure to return to in-person church gatherings until you feel ready.  We also acknowledge that in-person worship will feel different than it has in the past – but we do look forward to re-connecting when each person is ready.  May we utilize these challenging times to see new opportunities to live and love like Jesus!

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Pastor Melissa or our church board chair, Terry Gray.