Methodist Church Coronavirus Official Guidance : Updated 13 Oct

Latest updated information

Update 13 October 2020

How the new three-tier Covid alert levels will affect churches. See Coronavirus Guidance for Property

Update 8 October

The Covid-19 Risk Assessment has been updated and enhanced in light of recent updates. See Coronavirus Guidance for Property

Update 29 September 

Guides for Weddings, Open Air Worship, Church Meetings, Small Gatherings & House Groups, Pastoral Visits and Face Coverings. See Coronavirus Guidance for Property

Update 22 September 

We are yet to fully establish the impact of recent Government announcements on the life of the Church and of today’s speech from the Prime Minister. The transcript of the speech can be read here.

We will be reviewing our guidelines to reflect any changes that will affect churches and their associated community activities. More detailed guidance will be made available shortly.

The key points are:

  • Education establishments to remain open at present (this is assumed to include pre-schools subject to details);
  • Community & church cafés should only operate a table service and close by 10pm;
  • All staff and customers in community and church cafes, charity shops, etc will now have to wear a face covering (unless seated for eating/drinking where relevant);
  • In many sectors, which might include projects run through churches, working to Covid-secure guidelines will now be a legal obligation;
  • Weddings will only be able to have a maximum of 15 people (down from 30) attending the service and reception afterwards;
  • Funeral numbers allowed to attend remain unchanged at 30 people;
  • Currently new shielding measures for those who are more vulnerable remain unchanged at present;
  • Places of Worship are allowed to remain open

 The following guides have been updated today:

  •  Guide to Using Your Worship Space
  •  Guide for Other Community Users
  •  Guide for Children’s, Young Person’s and Intergenerational Activities & Worship
  •  Guide for Food and Drink in Worship and Non-Worship Settings

These can be found here.

Update 17 September

Our property guidance has now been updated reflecting the implications of the ‘rule of six’. More here.

Update 10 September

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government last night provided us with further clarification on the Government announcement this week of changes to permitted social interaction which come into place on Monday 14 September in England. We understand that the full regulations will be published later this week and we will update our guidance accordingly.

In summary:

  • Places of Worship can remain open for services and prayer.  As before, the limit on the number of people is determined by the risk assessment with attendees divided into multiple groups of no more than 6 people.
  • Weddings and funerals are still allowed and maximum numbers remain at 30 with people divided into multiple groups of no more than 6.
  • Community Halls remain open and activities are allowed as before but within each activity, participants can be in groups that consist of no more than 6 people.

The government has emphasised that venues must be Covid-19 secure and contact details must be left for Test and Trace.  More information can be read here.  

Update 9 September The Archbishop of Canterbury has posted the text below on social media following yesterday’s Government announcement regarding social interactions:

“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. The increase in COVID cases is very concerning. We must follow the guidance and take all the necessary measures to keep people safe. And let’s keep praying for everyone who is affected – those who are ill, or whose families are ill, those who are anxious, or struggling with cancelled plans and isolation. We give grateful thanks to God for the NHS and all those who work tirelessly to keep us safe.”
The Archbishop of

Update 3 September

Updated with guidance and information on conferring and decision-making during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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