A plethora of updates on various aspects of coronavirus was posted on 17th March, links to which were added to our Coronavirus updates – index.
Church of England
Since 17 March, the following FAQs have been added to the Church’s web page, copies of which are available at:
- Live Streaming Information for Churches
- Practical guidance for funerals
- Practical guidance for baptisms
- Practical guidance for weddings
- What about key workers
On 19 March, the Archbishops issued an Ad Clerum giving further clarification on the cessation of public worship, on which we posted here. Additionally, the practical guidance for funerals, baptisms and weddings FAQs was streamlined and a Documents section added, initially containing Guidance on mental health and wellbeing and Coronavirus and Guidance on Spiritual Communion and Coronavirus.
Church of Ireland
The Church of Ireland guidance page, dated 28 February, includes a link to the Irish Health Protection Surveillance Centre page Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for religious services, (5 March), page 4 of which gives specific measures which may be taken. Nevertheless, as we have noted earlier, this advice went much further than other faith groups at the time, many of which have adopted the majority of these early precautions.
On 18 March, we posted Churches in Northern Ireland: Coronavirus (Covid-19) guidance which summarized the Church of Ireland Advice to Clergy (Northern Province); this was promulgated following consultation with the General Secretaries of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and the Methodist Church in Ireland.
Roman Catholic Church
In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, on 19 March the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales stated that following official advice and in order to keep each other safe, save lives and support the NHS, at this time “we must not gather for public acts of worship in our churches. This will begin from Friday evening, 20 March 2020, until further notice”.
A number of downloads have been produced on:
- Public Acts of Worship in Catholic Churches in England and Wales – COVID19
- Liturgical Advice – COVID19
- When Mass cannot be celebrated publicly (Materials)
More information is available on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) page.
Isle of Man
The Isle of Man has proclaimed a state of emergency under the Emergency Powers Act 1936, an Act of Tynwald, and Peter Edge has posted an explainer here.
- Key Workers: On 19 March, the UK Government has produced the list of key workers whose children will be able to access education during coronavirus; this advice includes “religious staff” as key workers, Guidance for schools, colleges and local authorities on maintaining educational provision .
- DBS Checks: To ensure that the necessary DBS checks can still be carried out, the DBS standard and enhanced ID checking guidance will be changed for a temporary period. The change, effective from 19 March, will enable: ID documents to be viewed over video link; scanned images to be used in advance of the DBS check being submitted. The applicant will be required to present the original versions of these documents when they first attend their employment or volunteering role. COVID-19: Changes to standard and enhanced ID checking guidelines.