On Monday 19 July, the Church of England issued the following revision of its COVID-19 guidance and documentation. In addition, the MHCLG COVID-19: guidance for the safe use of places of worship (updated 16 June 2021) was withdrawn on 19 July and replaced with COVID-19: guidance for the safe use of places of worship (issued 16 July 2021).
Church of England COVID-19 Guidance
Following the lifting of the majority of legal restrictions, guidance and documentation have been updated and streamlined. Non-current documents are still available for reference.
Please also see statement Bishop of London urges caution and pays tribute to vaccinators as restrictions lift, (16 July 2021).
The information and guidance below is produced to help churches navigate the current situation in relation to the spread of the Covid-19 virus. It reflects Government guidance as we move to step 4 of their roadmap as well as that from public health bodies and will be updated as that evolves.
The approach taken by the Government in this step is to remove most coronavirus legislation but to promote guidance that emphasises the personal and corporate responsibility of individuals and organisations to protect others and themselves.
As a body we now need to move forward without legal restrictions and as churches decide how best to manage the risk to ourselves and others, recognising we are many members within one body that are called to be responsible to and for one another, respecting the more vulnerable whose suffering is our suffering.
The circumstances in each parish will inform local decision-making and the aim of this guidance is to help with and support that process.
Latest information – [no unique URLs]
- What is the guidance for opening and managing churches in Stage 4?
- How can we complete a risk assessment for our church building?
- Should we use NHS Test and Trace?
- How can we contribute to vaccination equity campaigns?
- How can I get a lateral flow test?
- Is there guidance on live streaming from church buildings?
- Copyright details for live streaming
- What resources are available to support mental health and emotional well-being?
- Is there guidance on how we can hold our PCC meeting of APCM
Current Guidance (from 19 July)
- Opening and managing church buildings in step 4 of the Roadmap out of Lockdown, V.1, (19 July 2021).
- COVID-19 NHS Test & Trace Data, V.5, (16 July 2021).
- COVID-19 Livestreaming Worship, V.1, (8 December 2020).
- Risk Assessment Template for Opening Church Buildings to the Public, V.10., (16 July 2021).
- COVID-19 NHS Test & Trace Data, V.5; (16 July 2021).
- Test and Trace consent form template
- Test and Trace online privacy notice template
- Test and Trace privacy notice template
- Mental and Emotional Wellbeing and the Church: Some Helpful Resources
The below Marking our communities resources have been prepared by The Liturgical Commission:
- Marking our Communities 1, Opening the Doors: re-entering our church buildings, V.1, (3 June 2020).
- Marking our Communities 2, Prayers of lament, thanksgiving and restoration, V1, (3 June 2020).
- Marking our Communities 3, When we meet again: remembering and memorials V.1, (3 June 2020).
Previous guidance (non-current or awaiting review)
The documents below are non-current as of 19 July but remain accessible for reference.
- Four step government roadmap
- Permitted Activities under national ‘step’ regulations
- Conducting public worship
- Individual private prayer
- Face coverings
- Holy Communion
- Ordinations and Consecrations
- Confirmation services
- Pastoral encounters
- Outdoor worship and churchyards
- Keeping church buildings clean
- Opening cathedral and church buildings to the public
- Opening church buildings for works to the building and interior
- Permissions for temporary works in churches and cathedrals
- Pastoral support in the community including care homes
- Mental health and wellbeing
- Personal risk factors to clergy, church workers and volunteers
- Safeguarding FAQs
- Church Heating
- Receiving Holy Communion by simultaneous administration
Previous resources/awaiting update
- Risk assessment template for contractors and construction workers
- Risk assessment Template for Outdoor Worship
The above changes will be added to COVID-19 Coronavirus: legislation and guidance which is the main source of information on L&RUK.