Olton Friary - Corona Virus (COVID-19)

Recent Notices  April 2021 - Roadmap out of Lockdown

Step 2 - 12 April - 17 May


Each individual from a single household must scan the QR code with their own NHS COVID-19 smartphone app if they are 16 or over. This is because an instruction from the app to check for symptoms, get a PCR test or isolate is delivered directly to an individual and therefore cannot be used collectively for a household. If an individual age 16 or over does not have the app they need to use the Parish Online Form to register their details.

With the transmissibility of the virus greatly increased with new variants it is vitally important to follow this guidance. The use of the NHS COVID-19 smartphone app venue checkin feature is considered a vital tool in preventing the spread of variants of concern and we ask everyone even if you haven't used the app to date to please reconsider for the wider benefit and safety of the community.

NHS COVID-19 APP Clarification of misconceptions

Some parishioners thought that scanning the QR code could lead to a parishioner being asked to isolate if they were at the same service or event as a person who tested positive. This however is NOT the case. The QR Code allows for an alert to be sent to your phone if you attend church at the same time as a positive case but this alert only provides a warning that you could have come into close contact with a positive case and it then opens up an option to book a voluntary PCR COVID-19 test in the app. An alert from a QR code scan does not ask you to isolate. It is therefore vital for your own personal safety and that of your family to always scan a QR code whenever you see one at venues after we open up more from lockdown in the coming weeks. Taking up such an offer of a PCR test is vital for the NHS to identify and control variants of concern.

The Isolate alert only comes to your phone if you spend more than 15 minutes and are within 2 metres of a person who tests positive. The number of days you are requested to isolate is dependent on the number of days since you had the encounter with the positive person when you receive the alert. Therefore, if you got an isolate alert after attending church it essentially means they were probably in the same pew or the one immediately in front or behind as the parishioner that tested positive.

Mass and Services Outside

When mass and services are held outside the transmission of COVID-19 is significantly reduced but not eliminated. Therefore contact tracing including scanning the NHS COVID-19 QR codes or submitting your details on the online parish form or paper slips is mandatory. Please remember to scan or submit your details each time you attend the Friary.

NHS COVID-19 APP Current Version

Please check your NHS COVID-19 App is up to date under About this App to ensure you have the latest functionality. The current version of the app is 4.9  This latest version of the NHS COVID-19 App was launched on 26 April 2021.

COVID-19 Important Message from the Director of Public Health at Solihull Council

The vaccination programme is successfully underway in Solihull. Everybody over the age of 45 can now book a place for the vaccine. Anybody with underlying health conditions between the ages of 16 and 44 are also entitled to book a place to get the vaccine. There’s lots of information available about the vaccination programme at: https://www.birminghamandsolihullcovidvaccine.nhs.uk/what-you-need-to-know/


Lateral flow testing is now available for all workers and volunteers in the community. This includes all volunteers at Olton Friary. This extends to stewards, readers, singers, musicians, eucharistic ministers and anybody taking a volunteering role bringing them into direct contact with multiple parishioners.

Laterel flow testing from Solihull Council is available for booking on the following Link.

Solihull Council Lateral Flow Test Booking Form

Please put as your place of work: Volunteer - Olton Friary Church B92 7BL

Currently there isn't an ideal method for recording your negative Lateral flow tests. Many people use the COVID-19 Symptom Study App by Zoe. This app can be used to record your health each day in addition to recording your COVID-19 tests and vaccines. This data is used by the NHS and Local Authorities to track the virus and whilst voluntary, it is a very worthwhile endeavour to be a part of a study helping to conquer COVID-19. This app is supplementary to the NHS COVID-19 App. You need both apps as only the NHS COVID-19 app is equiped for contact tracing.

The link to the COVID-19 Symptom Study App by Zoe is just below along with the install links to install the app on an Apple or Android Smartphone.

COVID Symptom Study (Zoe App)



End of Recent Notices

Guidance and Policy

Olton Friary has implemented Track and Trace Policy in line with NHS and Department of Health and Social Care guidance for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. This contact tracing requirement will remain in place for as long as government guidance considers it necessary. The NHS Test and Trace App will be the primary method of collecting attendance information with an additional secure online form for those who cannot for any reason use the app.

The Friary follows the acronym PIP




We want to Protect each and every parishioner and the SCJ community by creating a COVID-19 secure environment including social distancing, the wearing of masks, the use of sanitiser and one way systems in the church. We employ contact tracing to Inform people of positive cases of COVID-19 in the congregation or the SCJ community and in taking this action Prevent onward transmission of the virus.

Primary Method - NHS Test and Trace App


The NHS and the Department of Health and Social Care have launched a Test and Trace app to help make tracing contacts more effective should a person test positive for COVID-19. Olton Friary are adopting this method of Test and Trace as the primary method for our church for the following reasons:

  • The app is totally secure and data never leaves your phone except where you test positive for COVID-19 and the NHS send you a code asking you to release your anonymous contact and venue codes.

  • Use of the app only involves a limited role from Olton Friary, displaying prominent QR code posters so that you can register your attendance and assisting the NHS in the event of a positive COVID-19 test in the parish.

  • It does not require any wardens or stewards to collect information or come in close contact with parishioners causing issues for social distancing.

The NHS COVID-19 Test and Trace app can be installed on all iPhones running iOS 13.5 or later or Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) or later although Android 9.0 is recommended. We ask where possible to install and setup this app on your phone as this will allow you to be alerted if you sit within 3 metres of someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

Most importantly for Olton Friary is that you can register your attendance at every Mass, Service or time of Prayer in the Church. This is done by opening the app and clicking the Venue Check-in > as shown in the Test and Trace App image on this page and pointing the camera at the QR code displayed. Your attendence is automatically registered. This should be done each time you attend church. If you go into anywhere other than the church for example, the Hall or Parish Office a seperate QR code will be displayed there and you will need to scan again. This ensures that the Church is kept seperate from the rest of the building. 

Further information on the NHS Test and Trace App including links to the Apple and Android Store can be found on the official website here:

NHS COVID-19 Official Site

The following link is a short video into how the NHS Test and Trace app works. (This is the trial period video)

NHS Test and Trace Introductory Video (Youtube)

Secondary Method - Olton Friary Attendance Tracking Form

It is recognised that not everybody will have a modern smartphone to adopt the NHS COVID-19 Test and Trace App described above and therefore we are providing a secure Microsoft Form within the Olton Friary Microsoft Office 365 system for anybody attending the chruch to register their attendance. The Microsoft Office 365 system is a GDPR compliant secure area. The data will be deleted after 22 days.

This data where requested, within a 21 day period, could be shared with NHS Test and Trace in the event of a positive outbreak in the parish. A combination of the official NHS Test and Trace app and the Olton Friary Form should hopefully bring us close to 100% coverage. This form can be filled out on a smartphone, tablet or standard PC or MAC. You can fill this out on the same day as attending church. If you forget you can fill it out a day or two later. However please remember that the data will be kept for 22 days from completion of the form and not the date of your attendance at Olton Friary.

The link to the form is as follows: 

Olton Friary Test and Trace Form

The image below is also a link.  

Olton Friary COVID-19 Form

Method for those without a Smart Phone or Internet Access

It is recognised that a small number of parishioners will not have access to a smartphone or computer and therefore may not be able to acces this information. In order to facilitate parishioners without technology we have devised a paper form shown on this webpage. We ask those who want to use this method to take a number of forms home so that they can be pre-filled out at home and given to a steward upon arrival at the church. I would request that this information regarding the paper forms is relayed to those without access to the internet so that they are aware. The information on these paper forms is entered daily into the Microsoft Office 365 online form above and the paper slips destroyed. The information is then aligned, stored and deleted with the electronic submissions.

The basis of Olton Friary attendance tracking is paperless. This is so that the data can be held securely in line with GDPR and additionally in the event of action needing to be taken, the parish contact tracing co-ordinator in liaison with the NHS can do this remotely and effectively.

I therefore would ask parishioners to assist those parishoners that don't have access to technology to ensure that their attendence is recorded.

Conclusion and Call for Help

The aim of this endeavour is to protect everyone in the parish and to contain and manage any outbreak that could happen this spring and summer. Information is key to protection and this system will help us ensure everyone is informed in the event of a COVID-19 positive case in the parish and this allows each individual to take any action necessary to protect themselves, their families, friends or vulnerable contacts.

A special COVID-19 email address has been setup and any information or assistance can be directed to this address. This email can also be used to report an attendance at church where it will be entered into the database and the email deleted in line with GDPR.

The email address is as follows:

Olton Friary COVID-19 Email Address

Hopefully, we can work collectively as a community to keep each other safe this year.

Many thanks

Martin Hayden

Olton Friary Covid-19 Contact Tracing Co-Ordinator

Page updated: 30 April 2021