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Last updated 6th July 2020

COVID19 church buildings advice

This page provide advice on how to care for chuch buildings and grounds whilst they are closed for worship

You will be used to managing your buildings. However there are things that you may wish to consider as you plan for their management as we move out of lokdown

Churchyards (02/07/2020)

The national Church of England has produced some updated advice here on churchyards as we come out of lockdown. 

Churches reopening for public worship (01/07/2020)

On 23rd June it was announced that the earliest date for re-opening churches for public worship in a Covid-safe maner was 4th July. The Government released its advice on 26th June and can be found here

The House of Bishops have provided a response to the government guidelines here.

A risk assessment template from the national church can be found here.

There may be times when local or national government advice is amended to respond to the local situation. In those situations the advice for churches may change accordingly.

Please do read the information carefully, noting the following:

  • The words ‘should’ and ‘must’ are used very carefully. Should means you are strongly advised. Must means that it has the force of law.
  • The only significant area of difference with our guidance last week involves the use of books or hymnbooks. These can be distributed as long as they are quarantined for 48 hours afterwards.

Remember that the Government has placed churches in a privileged position by allowing us to break the general rules which do not allow more than two households to occupy the same internal space, so it is important to respect the guidance that allows this.

The lifting of the prohibition on worship brings to an end the legal dispensation concerning the obligation to offer Sunday worship within each Benefice and this canonical duty will therefore return from July 4th. 

We are aware that there are many churches who, for very good reasons, are having to delay the re-opening of worship, but it is important to set a direction of travel. To that end we advise parishes who are not starting worship this weekend as follows:

  • Have a plan with target dates and share this on your website, on A Church Near You and with a notice on the church door.
  • You can always start small for example with a midweek celebration of the Eucharist or with public recitation of the Daily Office (something which has been joyfully rediscovered in many parishes who have streamed or zoomed it during the lockdown).

If you can’t re-commence public worship by the end of July then Bishop Julian will need to know. You can either email him direct or send a message to the Coronavirus email address.

The national church have provided a form of words for PCC resolutions about delays to the re-commencement of public worship here