It is easy for churches to adhere to the physical distancing guidelines due to the Covid-19: Just don't let more people in than you can safely fit. But how do you keep track? Read more here on how you can organize your church services so you don't have to turn people away at the door.
Make it easy to register for a seat
Under current rules, places of worship can open up for "supervised private individual prayer" from 15th June according to the British government. People should also adhere to the 2m distance rule, especially in enclosed spaces like churches, unless they are members of one household. That makes it easy for you to determine how many people may be in your church at the same time. Walk through the aisles and measure out how much space you need to leave on each bench, or if you have chair seating, how far apart you need to space them. You can mark bench spaces with pillows to give your visitors an easy indicator where they can sit.
Also check front and back, not just left and right: It is likely that every second bench will need to be left unoccupied. Always remember to check your local guidances and relevant resources like the Church of England Covid-19 guidances.
Now that you know how many people you can safely seat in your church, it is time to set up a way to register for your prayer times. The one thing you want to avoid is turning away people in search of spirituality and solace at your door. An online registration prevents disappointments in your congregation and ensures you know what to prepare for. It also helps you maintain a list of attendees to help contact and trace people in case of a Covid-19 infection.
Any registration solution at least needs to give you and your guests information on the remaining available seats and fulfill GDPR privacy requirements to securely store personal data. Everybody who registers should receive an automatic confirmation what date and time they signed up for. Your registration should automatically close when all available seats are filled to avoid disappointment.
By limiting the seats in advance, you can ensure that physical distancing rules can be observed in your church. You should explain to your parishioners that with the registration, you ensure a safe environment in your parish both for the church’s visitors and its employees.
So how do you set this all up? ChurchDesk has a comfortable and easy option for you through ChurchDesk Forms.
Six tips for successful registration
There are six issues you should keep in mind when doing online registrations, even if you don’t use ChurchDesk Forms - although ChurchDesk can help you with all of these.
- Your registration should automatically close once the limit of available seats has been reached.
- A waiting list is helpful to offer an option in case previously registrated visitors cancel their plans.
- The tool should always show how many spaces, tickets or registrations are left! This motivates visitors to actually register, because humans like to make numbers to go up or down. It also helps you to know if you need to do more advertising or set up additional times and dates because of high demand.
- To make planning easy, your registration should open and close at pre-determined dates. This way, you can set up registration for all upcoming prayer dates and have them start two weeks before the date and close two or three days before. This way you always know when to look at the numbers and what to prepare for.
- Getting privacy consent to save your visitor’s data should be integrated into any registration form. This also helps you maintain visitor lists in case you need to trace contacts in case of a Covid-19 infection.
- We recommend offering a relevant newsletter subscription with the registration for a prayer day or church service. If you do this through ChurchDesk, your contacts will be dynamically added to the relevant newsletter lists in ChurchDesk.
We've made it easy for you
You can set up any conceivable registration form with ChurchDesk and use it in your website and newsletters. You don’t have to start from scratch, either. We supply a number of templates in ChurchDesk. You can find them under “Forms” -> “Create”. The templates include a form called “Covid-19: Service sign up for xx/xx (incl. physical distancing)”. This is already set up with a Covid-19 explainer text, shows the available seats and securely saves your visitor’s contact information.
If you need help setting up your registration, you can call us any time or book a meeting with a ChurchDesk representative. You can also click here to learn more about ChurchDesk Forms and how to use them!