From the Rector
Dear Christ and St. Luke’s Family:
After the tragic church shooting in Texas, we have received questions from many of you regarding our plan for Sunday morning safety in church.
At a special Vestry meeting Monday evening, we decided to implement the following plan:
- Beginning this Sunday, a uniformed police officer will be outside the Tower entrance before, during and after all services. Access to the church from the outside is limited to the Tower door. The Lychgate door with the ramp will be opened by an usher for any who need to use it. Simply ask an usher standing outside the Tower. All other outside doors are locked during services.
- The Lloyd Hall door will be unlocked at 9:00 a.m. before the 9:15 a.m. Sunday School classes and locked again after classes begin. It will be monitored while unlocked. All arriving for the 9:15 a.m. classes are to use this door or the Church Tower door. The latter will remain opened and monitored by an officer.
- All outside exits open from inside the church with a panic bar.
- We are making sure all exit doors are clearly marked. They include the Tower doors, the Lychgate door with the ramp into the garden, the side door out onto Stockley Gardens from the Chapel, and a door leading from the top of the aisle behind the organ. This door leads to a short flight of steps down to an outside door.
- Children’s Chapel and classrooms on the second floor of the Parish House have exits at both ends and we follow all safe church procedures for children.
- We are working with the Norfolk Police to offer active shooter training to our staff, ushers, Sunday School and nursery staff and teachers, and parishioners who will be designated as “crisis responders” in the case of an emergency. We will keep you posted on this training.
We are also consulting with the Chrysler Museum, Church Insurance in New York and the Bishop’s office to ensure due diligence. While this terrible tragedy in Texas awakens deep concern in all of us, there are no indications of any clear and present threat here at Christ and St. Luke’s. Nevertheless, the best insurance is training and preparedness. We are committed to going the extra mile to ensure that you and your loved ones can worship in peace and confidence. If you have further concerns or suggestions, your clergy, staff and Vestry welcome them.
Finally, our prayers go out to those in Texas who are dealing with this unspeakable tragedy. They are our brothers and sisters and we hold them in love and prayer.