Whilst Government guidance has been revised to allow certain activities to take place in church buildings, it is still vital that the necessary hygiene and social distancing precautions are kept in place in order to protect the NHS and save lives.
The Government has announced that places of worship may now (should they feel able to do so) re-open for private prayer. As from 4 July, Services, including Weddings and Funerals, may start again in England. The Government has restricted the numbers in attendance for Weddings and Funerals.
We, in the Guild, want to ask you all to look after yourselves, and your congregations. Follow the advice given to you from the NHS and from the Church and dioceses websites, please remember to keep checking for any updated information.
- Government Advice on for the safe use of places of worship during the pandemic
- Church of England Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance
- NHS advice
- UK Government
- Metropolitan Police advice on securing empty premises
Numbers able to attend Services
The numbers attending services will alter to:
- Standard Services (Eucharist, Mattins, Evening Prayer) – limits should be decided locally on the basis of the capacity of the place of worship, following a risk assessment while keeping COVID-19 safe distancing rules.
- Baptism limits should be decided locally on the basis of the capacity of the place of worship, following a risk assessment in the same way as for public worship.
- Weddings – the limit is 15 (unless it is not possible to hold this number within the COVID-19 safe distancing rules).
- Funerals – the limit is 30 (unless it is not possible to hold this number within the COVID-19 safe distancing rules).
- Other significant standalone life events will be subject to the ‘rule of six’ limits, but subject to the new ‘Tier Rullings’.
This is laid out in the Government Changes link (above).
As churches begin to look towards being able to open again, we must all look at how we will safeguard all people who come into our buildings.
Charles Farris has released some COVID-19 safety products (please note that others may be available elsewhere) and these may be viewed here.
They have also produced some flyers that can be downloaded and viewed separatley
The House of Bishops’ Recovery Group has issued its latest guidance.
These cover preparations for the gradual re-opening of our churches, the first stage of which will be for private prayer/devotion and then specific small-scale funerals and weddings for which we are anticipating the green light being announced shortly. The stage after this will be opening for smaller-scale, socially-distanced services.
- Advice on Face Coverings
- NHS Test and Trace
- Advice for opening cathedral and church buildings
- Advice on the Conduct of Public Worship
- Advice on the Administration of Holy Communion
- Advice on the Outdoor Worship and Churchyards
- Advice for Clergy Conducting Weddings
- Advice on Individual Private Prayer
- Advice on pastoral support in the community including care homes
- Advice on Conducting Baptisms
- Advice on Conducting Funerals
- Advice on Conducting Confirmation Services
- Marking Communities – Opening the Doors: re-entering our church buildings
- Marking Communities – Prayers of Lament, Thanksgiving and Restoration
- Marking Communities – When we meet again: remembering and memorials
- Parish Risk Assessment Template
Special Emergency Measure
Our Legal Advisor has drawn up the attached document that has been approved by the Executive Committee, to give extensions to all the posts that were up for election this year. The Regional Representatives, and the Deputy Regional Representatives having already been elected will not be considered for extension under paragraph 3 of the Special Emergency Measure.
To view the Special Emergency Measure please follow this link.
Need To Stream Your Services?
In these unprecedented times, churches have been asking CCLI for a licence to stream worship services. They have been working hard to find a solution.
Their new Church Streaming Licence, combined with the Limited Online Music Licence (LOML) from PRS for Music, permits you to legally webcast your services, including the worship music.