All legal restrictions have now been dropped and we are free to resume singing sessions as we wish, with COVID issues included in our existing risk assessments. However, indiscussion with regular singers we have decided to keep some COVID safe procedures in place, in recognition of the fact that cases are still high and these practices have kept us singing safely thus far.
The onus is on each of us to stay up to date with these agreements and act accordingly. These will be reviewed regularly.
Anyone attending live sessions in person is requested to read the Community Behaviour Agreement for their respective session (indoor or out)
Regular sessions are now held as follows;
Sing Out Your Song! - Thursday 7-9pm at the Hall behind Northgate Church, Upper Northgate St (numbers capped at 25 - currently no need to restrict)
Sing Out Your Song! - Every Sunday 10.30am in the arches (or elsewhere when weather allows) (no limit on numbers)
Taize - Every Friday in Chester Cathedral (number strictly capped at 14/20) alternate weeks so please let me know if you wish to be on the rota for these sessions)
Sacred Song - 2nd Saturday of each month 10.30-12.30 at Wesley Church Centre, St John St (numbers capped at 35 - currently no need to restrict)
All live sessions will also be zoomed to those wishing to join from home. The zoom will be live only, no recordings. See the Zoom Sessions page for details.
Tips for keeping warm while singing outdoors.
I know many people are seasoned ‘outdoorers’ but for those who want advice, here are my top tips for keeping warm while hanging out outside.
Natural fibres are really effective; wool, cotton, silk and down filled items (check out ethical sources). There are also some great options made from man-made fibres which I know are important for vegans
Layers are good; long johns, tights or leggings under trousers; lots of layers on top, especially a vest and a thin wool jumper under a thick one
Mind the Gap; Remember the places at the edge of your clothes where cold might sneak in. Make sure your midriff is covered with a long top layer. Also good is something to cover your wrists to make sure there is no gap. Long gloves that tuck up under your sleeves, and/or long sleeves that come down partway over your hands. You can also use wristlets, and can make your own cheaply and easily by cutting the feet off an old pair of socks. They really help more than you’d expect! A scarf to keep your neck warm and even to part cover your face.
Contact with the ground is really important to pay attention to; Creating a warm barrier between you and the ground can greatly slow your cooling process. Warm socks thick soled footwear. If you are sitting, get something as warm as possible to sit on. A wool pad/cushion/blanket is ideal if you have one.
Be windproof as well as waterproof; If you have a choice of coats, one that protects against wind can make a big difference.
Look after your extremities; Head; A lot of heat gets lost from the head, so do bring a warm hat, ear flaps especially good. And a scarf for the neck.
Feet; Two pairs of socks, especially woollen ones and footwear with a cushioned sole/fleece lining
Hands; Gloves. A thin pair under a chunky think pair great for when it gets really cold.
Warmth is more important than looks!! Every time. We’re all in the same boat so if it crosses your mind to worry about what you look like, please don’t!
Excess is not possible; wool/fleece blankets and hot water bottles might feel over-the-top but could be just what is needed if its unexpectedly chilly. It is now possible to buy mini hot water bottles that can fit in your pocket! If you have a super-compact sleeping bag that could be just wet you need to survive a winter Sunday morning sing!
Warm from the inside helps; if you have a flask do bring it with a hot drink in. I appreciate that toilets, or lack of, are an issue but it can really help to have a few sips of a hot drink.
Warm from the outside is good too; We have found (thank you Jeannie!) that a hot water bottle in a backpack can make a big difference.
NB If you walk/cycle remember to bring several extra layers to put on as you cool down after exercise. I tend to find I need 2-3 layers when walking/cycling and up to 6 having been stood for an hour and a half
For anyone who is waning, I will endeavour to always have with me;
A flask of hot water
Hot water bottle(s)
Pocket hand warmers
PLEASE JUST ASK if you think you need any of these. Do not suffer in silence :)