Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for churches

Last updated Wednesday 1 July at 16:47

Tuesday 30 June at 20:53

New advice on the conduct of public worship added following the publication of Government guidance, with updated risk assessment, legal considerations and advice on opening church buildings to the public.

Read a press release from the House of Bishops following the announcement from the Prime Minister that public worship in church buildings can resume from July 4th.

    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?
    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?

    Life events

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

    Schools and nurseries

    Can members of clergy and foundation school governors enter a school building?
    When schools re-open can church buildings be used by schools as a place of worship or gathering?
    Can nurseries and early years childcare provision operate in churches?

    General

    How should we complete a risk assessment ahead of re-opening our church building?
    What advice is available if domestic abuse is suspected?
    Should we still deliver printed communication?

    Documents

    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.

    Version log

    View any updates made to the page, with the most recent listed first.

    Last updated Tuesday 30 June at 9:00

    • Following the publication of Government guidance, we are updating our advice, and will publish this shortly.

    Last updated Thursday 25 June at 17:58

    • Following the Prime Minister's statement on 23 June, we are awaiting publication of the detail of the Government's guidance before updating our advice. 

    Wednesday 17 June at 09:00

    Tuesday 16 June at 14:30

    • New FAQ What guidance is in place for clergy, church workers and volunteers who are deemed to be at additional risk? in Prayer and worship section and advice document
    • Updated FAQ What guidance is available for Holy Communion? in Prayer and worship section

    Monday 15 June at 10:45:

    Friday 12 June at 17:15:

    • Updated Risk assessment document for opening church buildings
    • New Using church buildings for individual prayer and funerals document (combines previous Access to church buildings during lockdown: advice for incumbents and Access to church buildings during lockdown: general advice for incumbents, churchwardens and PCC members into a single guidance document)
    • New FAQ Can organists enter church buildings for organ practice and maintenance? in Prayer and worship section

    Wednesday 10 June at 11:30

    • New FAQ Can clergy, staff and volunteers enter church buildings to prepare for re-opening? in Fabric and building maintenance section
    • New FAQ Do we need to get permission to put social distancing or hygiene measures into a church building? in Fabric and building maintenance section

    Tuesday 9 June at 16:15.

    Read the House of Bishops' statement accompanying the below updates:

    Friday 5 June at 10:45:

    • New Prayer and worship FAQ section
      • New FAQ What liturgical resources are available? and accompanying documents
      • New FAQ Can churches open for individual and private prayer? and accompanying document
    • New FAQ How can parishes prepare to re-open buildings? and updated risk assessment in Word format
    • Updated FAQ Can Weddings still go ahead? and accompanying document
    • Updated FAQ Can Funerals still go ahead? and accompanying document
    • Updated FAQ Can Baptisms still go ahead? and accompanying document

    Monday 1 June at 13:00:

    • Updated FAQs on schools and nurseries to include information about reopening of nurseries in church buildings and other church-owned property.

    Thursday 28 May at 15:35:

    • New Schools and nurseries section including:
      • New FAQ Can members of clergy and foundation school governors enter a school building?
      • New FAQ When schools re-open can church buildings be used by schools as a place of worship or gathering?
    • Updated Should we still deliver printed communication? FAQ

    Wednesday 27 May at 10:40: