Church of England Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for churches: Updated 03 May

Last updated: 3 May 2022

Documents updated:

  • Opening and Managing Church Buildings: updated guidance on the administration of Holy Communion to clarify that unless there are clear and objective reasons not to, Holy Communion should now be offered in both kinds to communicants.

Updated: Tuesday 25 January, 13.30

The Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, has thanked parishes and the public for their sacrifices as England lifts plan B measures from Thursday 27 January,

Updated documents:

Updated: Friday 10 December, 15:11

Updated: Thursday 9 December, 17.20

Updated documents:

The Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, who leads the Church of England’s Covid Recovery Group, said: “As we look forward to celebrating again the coming of Jesus into our world, we can do so with hope.
“Few of us imagined when we first heard of the coronavirus at the beginning of last year that we would now be approaching our second Christmas of a global pandemic.
“The recent emergence of the new Omicron variant and the evidence we’ve seen already of its rapid spread is a cause of real concern.
“And while we are hugely thankful for the rapid development and mass rollout of the vaccines – and the current booster programme – there are important steps we should take now to protect ourselves and each other.
“As Christians we have a duty to care for one another, especially those who are most vulnerable, and the latest measures announced by the Government should offer some extra protection and reassurance for people.
“Caring for one another, sharing, hope, faith and most of all the knowledge that God is with us are at the heart of Christmas.
“This Christmas we will be coming together – whether in person or online – to worship God and celebrate his coming into the world as a human being like us.
“Amid all that we have been through together in the last two years that hope is as strong as ever.”

Updated: Tuesday 30 November, 16.23

Following the publication of Government guidance we have updated our advice for churches. 

7 September, 12.19

Older and out-of-date documents which had been retained for reference during the first weeks of Stage 4 have now been removed from page

1 September, 17.09

Updated: Monday 19th July, 14.00

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 a statement from the Bishop of London

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

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? What advice is there for keeping the church clean? Is there guidance on how we can hold our PCC meeting or APCM?

Documents

Current Guidance (from 19 July)

Current Resources

The below Marking our communities resources have been prepared by The Liturgical Commission:

Previous guidance (non-current or awaiting review)

The documents below are non-current as of 19 July but remain accessible for reference.

Previous resources/awaiting update

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