Guidance for Parishes during the Coronavirus pandemic


Government guidance

Government guidance for places of worship Find out more.

Church of England guidance

Regularly updated guidance Find out more.

NHS guidance

NHS regularly updated guidance. Find out more.

 

Coronavirus reopening roadmap

Following the statement by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, The Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, who chairs the Church of England’s Coronavirus Recovery Group, has responded following the Prime Minister’s statement to Parliament.

“I am grateful to the Prime Minister for sharing these proposals to ease the current restrictions in a way which gives us all some clarity and enables people to begin to plan. We will study the details and, working with Government Departments, refine our own advice for local churches in the weeks ahead. We all look forward to being able to meet in larger groups again later this year and today’s announcement will be especially encouraging for couples planning weddings, among others... Our churches have loved and served their neighbours perhaps like never before and found ways to meet and worship God together we would not have imagined just a year ago. As we look ahead to the prospect of easing of restrictions we know it is still a long road. Yet Easter reminds us we always have hope.”

The Church of England page (link graphic above) will continue to be updated accordingly. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Singing in churches

The Government has advised that: 

  • Where singing or chanting is essential to an act of worship, this should be limited to one person wherever possible. Exceptionally, where it is essential to the service, up to three individuals should be permitted to do so. Strict social distancing should be observed and the use of Plexi-glass screens should be considered to protect worshippers, and each other.
  • Communal (congregational) singing should not take place. This applies even if social distancing is being observed or face coverings are used, indoors and outdoors.

It has been confirmed that this guidance applies both to professional and amateur choirs where a congregation is present.  Under the Performing Arts guidance professional groups may continue to rehearse and train, and perform for broadcast or recording purposes if a congregation is not present. In such cases the numbers or people involved should be kept as small as possible to minimise risks and participants should follow social distancing guidance. Please see Government guidance on places of worship and on Performing Arts for more information.


What to do if informed of confirmed cases?

 

When you are informed of more than one confirmed case with symptoms dating within 14 days of each other, please follow the Action Card guidance and make Public Health aware:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHE East of England Health Protection Team:

Phone: 0300 303 8537 (option 1)

Emails: EastofEnglandHPT@phe.gov.uk and phe.EoEHPT@nhs.net

If you have to isolate:


Parish Finances

Ecclesiastical Fundraising support materials

Ecclesiastical have produced a useful guide on fundraising for churches during COVID-19 which you may find useful. 

Guide | Weblink

Parish Buying resources

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies suitable for post Covid-19 opening are now available please click here.  Please remember it is good practice to compare prices before purchasing.

Generous giving

The work of our church is reliant on people’s generosity, a generosity that is a hallmark of a lived-out faith and a testament to it. Encouraging giving in a parish can feel daunting, but it need not be so. There is a new simple tool available by the Church of England digital team.  This personalised giving video can set the right climate for people to review their giving and levels of generosity. There is a short and longer video which could be used on your A Church Near You page or edited into during your streamed or pre-record service.  Visit www.achurchnearyou.com to find the resource.

The Parish Resources website has a ‘digital giving’ website page which may be helpful.  Alongside other resources available on Facebook - Guidance on how to add a donate button to a charity Facebook page here and finally linking to online shopping fundraising opportunities such as  easyfundraising® which is the UK’s biggest charity shopping fundraising site.

Parish Resources | Weblink

For more information please visit:

Stewardship | Weblink


Funding opportunities

For the latest funding opportunities please visit:

Current fundraising opportunities | weblink


Bell ringing

Information is updated regularly please visit the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers website here for the most up to date guidance.


Care of Church Buildings

Lead theft - please note the criminal fraternity may not heed the government’s advice and stay at home. We had one instance of a break-in during the original lock-down and a recent lead theft.  The Suffolk police have recently re-issued their guidance for churches and this can be found here. It’s not lock-down specific but it’s a timely reminder of good practice. 

In addition, encourage neighbours to keep an eye on the church building and make sure the contact details of the churchwarden are displayed. Ideally visit the church as frequently as practicable as lead theft is sometimes only visible from inside the church after rain has fallen through the missing roof.

Lead theft | weblink

Faculty rules - don't forget that the new faculty rules took effect from 1 April. An evolution rather than a revolution and the good news is that more work can be done under List B than before and there is an increase in the number of items that don’t need any permission at all (List A). The new Lists are available here.  You are encouraged to use the online faculty system (OFS) for your List B and faculty applications.  All faculties via OFS will be charged at £200, paper-based applications will incur a fee of £250.

Broadband in churches | Weblink


Safeguarding

If your church/cathedral is taking responsibility for organising a volunteering service (rather than people helping neighbours or family as private citizens), then you must follow usual safeguarding policies, procedures and practice guidance.  This page on the Church of England website includes a various links to COVID-19 Safeguarding guidance and factsheets.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) renewals must still take place when required.  The DBS has provided updated information regarding identity checks in light of COVID-19 available here.

Safeguarding training | Weblink

Scamming

Please note that the Local Government Association (LGA) has warned of strangers and cold callers trying to exploit the elderly and vulnerable while we all try to meet the challenge of COVID-19.  We must be alert, support our communities and ensure our outreach and ministry continues to be compassionate and safe.

 

A prayer for all those affected by coronavirus

Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy.
Sustain and support the anxious,
be with those who care for the sick,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may find comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Amen.

 


Page last updated: 25th February 2021 11:52 AM