Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for churches

The Prime Minister has outlined plans to make face coverings mandatory in Places of Worship from 8th August and has withdrawn guidance to permit indoor professional performances with immediate effect. We will study detailed government regulations and guidance once they are available (including updated guidance for weddings published 3/8/20) and will update our guidance accordingly.

In the meantime, we continue to strongly advise that face coverings should be worn by all those attending a place of worship, including ministers, worshippers, staff, volunteers, contractors and visitors, where there may be other people present; remembering that they are mainly intended to protect other people, not the wearer, from coronavirus (COVID-19) and that they are not a replacement for physical distancing and regular hand washing.

Last updated:

Friday 31 July at 15:35

Friday 31 July at 11:04

  • New FAQ What are the first steps to take if we believe there has been a local outbreak? in General section

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 information on this page is regularly updated, so please check back to ensure you have the latest guidance. When major changes are made, we will publish update through the Church of England Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Please read the detailed guidance below to ensure all activities are conducted in a safe and hygienic way.

FAQs

Prayer and worship

Can churches open for individual prayer?
Can churches hold services of worship?
Should I wear a face covering in church?
Praying and live streaming from church buildings
Copyright licence details for live streaming
What liturgical resources are available?
Can organists enter church buildings for organ practice and maintenance?
Can we have worship outside?
Should we wear a visor for presiding and preaching?

Life events

Can funerals still go ahead?
Can weddings still go ahead?
Can baptisms still go ahead?

Community Support

Can food banks remain open?
Can the building still be used for blood donations?
Can clergy, staff and volunteers enter church buildings to prepare for re-opening?
Do we need to get permission to put social distancing or hygiene measures into a church building?
What advice is there for keeping the church clean?

Finance and governance

How can my PCC hold a remote meeting?
How can we enable people to give financially to the church?
What can we do about our annual parish meetings?

Schools, nurseries and youth provision

Can members of clergy and foundation school governors enter a school building?
Can church buildings be used by schools as a place of worship or gathering?
Can nurseries and early years childcare provision operate in churches?
Can children and young people’s activities start again?
What resources are there to help with resuming children, young people and families work?

General

How should we complete a risk assessment ahead of re-opening our church building?
What guidance is in place for clergy, church workers and volunteers who are deemed to be at additional risk?
What advice is available if domestic abuse is suspected?
Should we still deliver printed communication?
What advice is there for activities in church halls?

Documents

Guidance

Resources

Further reading

The below Marking our communities resources have been prepared by The Liturgical Commission:

Digital resources

Father Andrew taking Holy Communion.

Access our digital resources including our weekly services

Church online

Prayer and worship resources

A page has been created containing prayers and intercessions for personal or group use, special prayers for use if it isn’t possible to meet in church and a simple form of prayer for the morning and evening, which can be downloaded, printed and shared with those remaining at home or who are unable to access the Internet.

A new Daily Hope phone line is now available, free of charge, to those unable to access online resources.

These resources are offered to help those who are struggling to find words at this difficult and stressful time and to enable Christians to worship in solidarity with one another even if it is not possible to gather in a church building.

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