Opening our churches

For all the latest guidance on opening our churches.

Updated information on face coverings 31 July 2020

The Prime Minister has outlined plans to make face coverings mandatory in Places of Worship from 8th August and has withdrawn guidance to permit indoor professional performances with immediate effect.

In the meantime we strongly advise that face coverings should be worn by all those attending a place of worship, including ministers, worshippers, staff, volunteers, contractors and visitors, where there may be other people present; remembering that they are mainly intended to protect other people, not the wearer, from coronavirus COVID-19 and that they are not a replacement for physical distancing and regular hand washing
Please visit the Coronavirus pages Church of England website for the latest information – 31 July 2020

27 July 2020: The Church of England has updated its guidance to include:

  • Should we wear a visor for presiding and preaching? in Prayer and worship section
  • New FAQ What can we do about our annual parish meetings? in Finance and governance section. Diocesan guidance on APCMs is available on the Practical Matters page.

Please visit the Coronavirus pages on the Church of England website for the latest information.

Updated guidance documents – 23 July 2020

Relevant FAQs have been added and updated to reflect these documents so do visit the Church of England website for the latest information.

Pastoral encounters during Covid-19

Church of England guidance – 16 July 2020

Test and Trace guidance

In order to support the NHS Test and Trace programme, contact details for all visitors must be taken, as well as recording times entering and leaving the place of worship.

You can download the Government’s template consent form guidelines for places of worship and those handling sensitive information from their website or download the guidance and templates can be downloaded individually below.

Liturgical resources

As well as the previously available advice to clergy on access to closed church buildings, practical guidance on how to get your building ready includes:

Signage support

  • Church Print Hub has made posters available for  those churches who wish to publicise that their church building is open for private prayer. They will also be made available on the main Church of England website and through the ACNY Resource Hub along with a customisable video soon.The posters – one for outside the church and one to place inside, feature QR codes that take people to some simple prayers and to light a candle online directly from their phones. We know that some people will be grieving and most will have their families in mind, so these resources are designed to offer comfort when hygiene rules may prevent candles, prayer books and cards being available.You can download the posters below. Printed A3 (or larger) posters available to order from Church Print Hub. Like all the other coronavirus resources, they are free and you will only pay P&P.
  • There are also Bath and Wells editable PDF templates and signs available from the Communications support: digital and traditional page. If you would like the original publisher files to edit yourselves, please email the comms team.
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