She said: “I am grateful to the Prime Minister for sharing these proposals to ease the current restrictions in a way which gives us all some clarity and enables people to begin to plan.
“We will study the details and, working with Government Departments, refine our own advice for local churches in the weeks ahead. We all look forward to being able to meet in larger groups again later this year and today’s announcement will be especially encouraging for couples planning weddings, among others.
“When the first lockdown was introduced last year, we were – as we are now – in the midst of Lent, a time of preparation and self-reflection for Christians as we look forward with hope to Easter and its promise of new life in Jesus Christ.
“This has been an incredibly testing time for the whole world – most of all the loved ones of those who have died. The financial cost of the pandemic has been enormous, and we will never truly know the cost of separation and loneliness on individuals and society.
“But we have also seen remarkable signs of hope. The rapid development and distribution of vaccines has been a phenomenal achievement and I want to thank everyone involved in the process.
“The way in which people have reached out to others has been inspirational.
"Our churches have loved and served their neighbours perhaps like never before and found ways to meet and worship God together we would not have imagined just a year ago.
“As we look ahead to the prospect of easing of restrictions we know it is still a long road. Yet Easter reminds us we always have hope.”
Church of England advice will be updated in accordance to the guidance at each stage.