Olton Friary - Corona Virus (COVID-19)

Important Information and Recent Updates - November 2021

Living with COVID-19 - Winter 2021

NOTE: Updated paragraphs in this "Important Information and Recent Updates" section have NEW or UPDATED in the title if they were changed since this page was last updated. The "Guidance, Policy and Reference Material" section is NOT updated on a regular basis.


In recent months cases of COVID-19 have increased dramatically as a result of the DELTA Variant. We now have additional concerns with the new OMICRON variant. There has also been in increase in what are known as 'Breakthrough Positive Cases'. This is where people that have had two vaccines and then test positive for COVID-19. The NHS and Department of Health and Social Care need to increase the speed of Test and Trace responses. Olton Friary therefore requests that anybody who has attended a Mass, Service or Event and subsequently tests positive within 10 days of being at the Friary to urgently contact Martin Hayden as Contact Tracing Co-ordinator on the following email address:


Please provide the following information:

•   Name:

•   Contact Phone Number:

•   Date or dates you attended the Friary:

•   Date tested positive for COVID-19:

Martin will call you back to confirm details with you and then inform NHS test and trace regarding venue alerts on the NHS COVID-19 app. If you don't have an email address please phone the Friary leaving your name and phone number and request an urgent call back from Martin Hayden regarding COVID-19. There is no need to provide any further information. All information will be treated in strictest confidence in line with GDPR regulations.


Each individual from a single household must scan the QR code with their own NHS COVID-19 smartphone app if they are aged 16 or over. This is because an instruction from the app to check for symptoms, get a PCR test or isolate (where an individual is over 16 and NOT vaccinated) is delivered directly to a persons mobile phone. This is why scanning into a venue 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.

The use of the NHS COVID-19 smartphone app venue check in feature is considered a vital tool in preventing the spread of variants of concern. The parish asks everyone even if you haven't used the NHS COVID-19 app before to please consider installing it for the wider benefit and safety of the parish and wider community.

UPDATED - 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 4.22  The latest update to the NHS COVID-19 App was released on 23 November 2021.

NHS COVID-19 APP Clarification of misconceptions

Scanning a venue 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 within the app to book a voluntary PCR COV ID-19 test. 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. Taking up the offer of a free PCR test is vital for the NHS to identify and control variants of concern.

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.

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

Everybody over the age of 16 can now book a place for a 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 everyone. This includes all parishioners and volunteers at Olton Friary. Lateral Flow Testing kits are available for free in most pharmacies. They are also available to order online at the following link:


Reporting tests (positive or negative) is vital for knowing the prevalence of the virus in the local area.

Link for reporting lateral flow test is as follows:


Solihull Council’s COVID-19 walk in Community Testing Hub is now open Solihull High Street, B91 3SS (next to Halifax bank). No Appointment required.

If you are a volunteer at Olton Friary please put Volunteer - Olton Friary Church B92 7BL as your place of work.

COVID Pass and Lateral Flow Testing

The government have now launched Vaccine Passports and Event Passes through the NHS App (This is not the NHS COVID-19 app). The NHS app will show you all of your reported Lateral Flow test history and provide a COVID Pass for 48 hours after doing a lateral flow test.




End of Important Information and Recent Notices

Guidance, Policy and Reference Material

Olton Friary has implemented a Contact Tracing 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. 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, Parish Office, Day Chapel, Library or Lounge 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. Occasionally where required we have a seperate QR code for Garden Events where social events take place in the Friary Grounds. This will be on display when needed.

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.


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 below includes information and the installation links to install the app on an Apple or Android Smartphone.

COVID Symptom Study (Zoe App)

Conclusion and Call for Help

The aim of our pretection measures is to protect everyone in the parish and to contain and manage any COVID-19 outbreak that could happen this winter. 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: 29 November 2021