Shanklin United Reformed Church

High Street, Shanklin, Isle of Wight. PO37 6LA
Registered Charity No. 1130459

A member of the Evangelical Alliance

For details of URC churches on the Island visit


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Our Services

Live @ SURC

Due to the Coronavirus, the church building is currently closed

However, every Sunday at 11:00 and Tuesdays at 14:00 a talk with a Bible reading is broadcast live
on Facebook by our minister and other people from their homes:
You don't need to be a Facebook user to see this

Should you have missed seeing the service live, or if you wish to catch-up with a previous service,
whether it be in video or audio format, don't worry, head to our Sermons On Line page

URC Guidance on Easing of Lockdown

As lockdown restrictions and governments’ stay-at-home requirements begin to gradually ease across the UK, the United Reformed Church (URC) Synod Moderators provided updated advice to churches on 5 March:

The Moderators know that churches are keen to make plans to reopen for public worship and other activities and so provide the following guidance. We want to urge continued caution, both in the timing for reopening and what happens afterwards. Information is still being gathered about how new variants are spreading and whether people who have been vaccinated spread the virus. The pandemic is not over and neither shall it be for some time yet.

Pay attention to the relevant government guidance on what you can and can’t do, and, vitally, follow it.

Additionally, we remind you of 1 Corinthians 10:23: “All things are lawful but not all things are beneficial, and not all build up.”

Even though it may be lawful for church buildings to be open in the later season of this pandemic, it might not yet be the right time to open. Covid prevalence and consideration of local ‘hotspot’ information must take precedence over any date of the diary, which might mean further delay to opening up, with decisions being reversed at short notice.

Follow the law of love: who will you be protecting by remaining closed for public worship, and who will you be excluding? What is the most loving response you can make over re-opening?

We know that many have been starved of human contact through lockdown and are desperate to resume activity. You might just find, as in God’s kingdom, that you need to turn your thinking upside-down. Those you thought safest to be out and about might now be the most vulnerable (as they won’t yet have been vaccinated). Those you have included through online worship now may again find themselves outside your fellowship.

The decision to re-open must properly be made by Elders’ Meetings, considering the regulations/restrictions in place, local prevalence of the disease and pressures on the NHS, and measures in place to control risk of infection both in the church and the grounds.

Even if/where it is permitted, we urge churches to consider carefully whether they should open as soon as Easter Day, unless the current improvements are sustained and the risks are properly assessed and managed. Rather, we suggest that Pentecost may be a better time to consider as a point for the resumption of in-person worship, subject to a number of important conditions being met, as described below - see website for the rest...


In the light of the above, the Elders of SURC feel that, after prayerful reflection, it would be unwise to gather people for in-person services for the time being.

We will review the situation when we meet on 16th April as we see how the road map unfolds. Do please pray for wisdom and guidance.

We stand with you

Although the Government has allowed church buildings to be open for worship (subject to strict Covid restrictions), we do not feel it is appropriate to meet in person when many other local businesses remain closed. The risks of infection are still very real and we do not wish to be the cause of any spread.

Our worship services and other meetings continue online – see above

The New Normal in Church

When we can open once more, based on the guidelines published by the Government and the URC, there are many restrictions as to what we can do, and we would need to run things in a carefully organised manner. Here is a summary of some key points:

  • People will be asked to book a place for one or other meeting each week so we can control numbers

  • Only 30 - 40 could be accommodated safely depending on the configuration of household groups

  • Name & contact details will be held for 21 days

  • Entry to the building will be via the front doors and disabled access ramp only (the side door will be locked)

  • Everyone will be asked to sanitise their hands upon entry

  • Face coverings are required (exceptions apply)

  • We will increase ventilation wherever possible (opening windows etc.)

  • You will be shown to a seat – rows are now spaced

  • Seats will be allocated on the basis of household groupings sitting together, with two spaces between any others

  • Please move to your seat promptly. Once in your seat, you are asked to remain there and not move around the building

  • Social distancing must be strictly adhered to (including when queuing for entry and exit) and interaction with those outside your household should be avoided

  • Young people must be supervised by a parent or guardian

  • Please use drinking/washing/toilet facilities at home to avoid using the facilities in the church. However, toilet facilities will be available for those who do need them; please come to the back and wait to be shown to the toilet. You will be asked to sanitise your hands before entry and on exit and also to use the wipes provided on any surfaces you may have touched

  • Shared items such as Bibles will not be used, and we will provide single-use items where necessary. Please take these with you when you leave

  • There will be no congregational singing during services. All speaking will take place from the front and singing via videos shown on a screen

  • No offering will be taken in services but a receptacle will be available for gifts as you arrive or leave

Please remember that HM Government currently advises all those over the age of 70 should stay at home as much as possible and all those in higher-risk groups should avoid large gatherings.

Government guidelines also suggest that services should be completed in the shortest reasonable time. Once the service is over, you should leave the building immediately via the front and side doors, beginning with those sitting furthest back. Be patient and ensure that you maintain the appropriate distance whilst waiting to leave and sanitise your hands once again on exit.

There will be no tea/coffee facilities. We would ask you to leave the building promptly once the service is over and, to avoid queues, to leave the vicinity of the building as soon as possible.

To protect the most vulnerable in our fellowship, we must all adhere to these guidelines

To ensure that cross-contamination does not take place, the building will be closed for at least 72 hours before another meeting or service.

If you have any questions or concerns,
contact our church secretary
Robin Wightman

This is what the church building currently looks like inside

Page Last Updated 18 April 2021

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