From the 4th July, places of worship can start to reopen for private prayer and public worship so long as they follow strict rules. You will find on this page summaries of the government guidance, risk assessments, and helpful information sheets regarding what is possible.
Please note update will be posted in Blue.
It is important to note that these are summary guidance for the Bristol & South Gloucestershire Circuit, in order to maintain consistency across our churches. I recognise that other denominations may interpret the regulations slightly differently and LEP’s are advised to adopt one set of policies and try not to chop and change, and that each church setting is different.
It is important to remember that this is a marathon and not a sprint, and small steps are the best way forward, and that government guidance keeps changing.
FACE COVERINGS/PA Systems – 24th July
1. Q. Should I wear a face covering in a church building?
A. Face coverings are currently mandatory on public transport and will be mandatory in shops and in supermarkets from 24 July 2020. Government guidelines are encouraging people to wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces where there are people they do not normally meet, such as a place of worship.
“From 8th August face coverings should be worn by all those attending a place of worship, including ministers, worshippers, staff, volunteers, contractors and visitors (User Groups), 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.”
Face coverings should only be removed to receive Holy Communion.
2. Q. What is a face covering?
A. A face covering is something which safely covers the nose and mouth. You can buy reusable or single-use face coverings. You may also use a scarf, bandana, religious garment or hand-made cloth covering but these must securely fit round the side of the face.
These are different from surgical and other face masks that are part of PPE used in health and social care settings, such as visors. We do not recommend the use of PPE in church buildings other than for specialist cleaning activities.
3. Q. Why should we wear face coverings?
A. Coronavirus (COVID-19) can spread predominantly by droplets. The best available scientific evidence is that, when used correctly, wearing a face covering can reduce the spread of coronavirus droplets in certain circumstances, helping to protect others.
4. Q. Should we use microphones/PA systems?
A. Yes, if you have one then you should make use of it. Those speaking as part of a sermon should be wearing masks, so using a microphone will help people to hear and understand them, especially those using hearing aids. It is possible that visors can be used by those leading worship but a face covering should be Ideally individual lapel microphones or static (fixed) microphones should be used rather than hand-held, and those using them should not touch the microphone to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus, especially if it is a fixed microphone – for example on a lectern – that will be used by multiple people through a service. Lapel microphones should only be touched by the person using them and should be cleaned (for example with alcohol wipes) or left-untouched for 72 hours between uses.
Full Guidelines Click: HERE
Poster Click: acs_facemask_poster_orange
Exemption Poster Click: Face Covering Exemption Poster
Guidelines for Outside Worship Click: HERE
Re-opening churches summary of guidelines: Click: HERE
Preparing to re-open your church – issued 16th June: Click: HERE
Guidance Pack for re-opening of church buildings – including Risk Assessment to ensure buildings are Covid-19 secure: Click: HERE
H&S and other Posters to be displayed Click: HERE
GDPR – Test & Trace Information Click: HERE
GDPR – information poster/sign in sheet Click: HERE
GDPR Test and Trace sign-in sheet for user groups Click: HERE
Poster for Private Prayer Click : HERE
Poster for Sunday Worship Click: HERE
Guidelines for those leading live worship Click: HERE
Q&A – issued 2nd July Click: HERE
Cleaning guidelines Click: HERE
Guidelines for Funerals Click: HERE
Guidelines for Weddings Click: HERE
Guidance Pack for paid staff and volunteers returning to church (including Risk Assessments and other H&S, HR information Click: HERE
H&S for Employees Poster Click: HERE
Further guidance will be issued as available.
Please check “recent posts” for other covid-19 guidance