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Coronavirus - latest information

The information available about Coronavirus is fast changing. Government advice seems to be being released on a daily basis. When we receive new updates we will endeavour to reflect those changes in these pages as quickly as possible.

On the right you will find a download about reopening churches for private prayer and also the booklet that we have written to help churches think about some of the steps needed to reopening in general.

We also have links to the Safer Places of Worship, Churches Together in England and Government websites.

** UPDATE ** 9th September 2020 **

You will be pleased to hear that the new guidelines set by the Government yesterday about social gatherings in England have not influenced the guidelines for places of worship.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said:
"After contact with Government we hear that there is no change to guidance on places of worship. Worship is the work of God - not a social gathering - and gives the strength to love and serve."

Please all continue to review your risk assessments, continue to follow the guidelines, keeping everyone as safe as you can and worship as inclusively as you can.

I know not all churches have reopened - mine included - and that is OK, we still love and serve and worship our Lord and Saviour Jesus as we can.

** UPDATE ** 20th August 2020 **

The rules for singing have changed in England (sorry but in Wales and Scotland still one person only can sing). There is still no congregation singing but singing can now happen by worship groups rather than just individuals.

** UPDATE ** 6th August 2020 **

Government guidelines for England have changed which states from 8th August everyone in a place of worship must wear a mask
I have had lots of enquires about whether this includes the person who is leading worship.
The Government have indicated that this will not apply to those leading worship or if there is a wedding the bride and groom!

** UPDATE ** 27th July 2020 **

The latest update notes that communal worship or prayer can be attended by more than 30 people but only if the venue can safely accommodate larger numbers in a way which complies with COVID-19 secure guidance.

** UPDATE ** 15th July 2020 **

Scotland and Wales have now issued their guidance on reopening churches from the 15th July 2020. See the links on the right.

** UPDATE ** 8th July 2020 **

In Scotland and Wales restrictions are still in place for churches to worship in their buildings but in England it has been wonderful to hear how some churches have taken the decision to open their doors and worship together as a gathered community once more.

Yes there have been changes in the church layout, order of service, socially distancing greetings and even bringing your own flask but it has been a great comfort and strength to all who have attended and I praise God for that.

I know lots of churches have already completed risk assessments but for those churches who might be struggling or are not sure where to start I attach an example which can then be personalised for your own church. However please don’t feel overwhelmed with this task and if you need some help please contact me.

I also attach some posters which you might want to print and display in your church buildings. Remember you can order other resources including posters from CPO.org.uk

There is so no pressure for people to open their buildings for worship or private prayer. We have lots of vulnerable people within our congregations and we need to be respectful of feelings and making sure we keep everyone safe and included.

Lisa Vickers our Safeguarding Officer has put together some information from Thirtyone:eight about safeguarding support at this time which is relevant for all nations and I also attach a document the Baptist Union have created about Pastoral Visits which I thought might be helpful to those of you living in England as the guidelines have changed.

I am sure those of you in Scotland and Wales will also find the information helpful as you prepare and ponder.

Yvonne Campbell