Guidance for Re-opening Churches

IntroductionSee the source image

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.

September 2020

Updated guideline reopening pack for Churches September 2020, Click: HERE

Updated guidelines for those leading worship, Click: HERE

Good Practice Guidelines for cleaners, Click: HERE

Government Rule of 6 Guidelines, Click: HERE

Updated guidance for Community Choirs/musicians Click: HERE

Guidelines/role description for Covid-19 Responsible Person Click:HEREInformation as to the responsibilities of those who are the Covid-19 Responsible Person in local churches.



SINGING & LIVE MUSIC IN WORSHIP – From the 15th August it is possible for small worship bands & soloists to sing and play instruments within an act of worship. However the rules are complex, and you may need to seek addition advice as a separate Risk Assessment must be carried out for this activity and churches need to implement addition measures for example, putting up screens. Full Guidance Click:  HERE

GUIDANCE FOR THOSE INVOLVED IN LEADING WORSHIP Updated guidance (18/8/2020) Worship Leaders, Church Stewards & Responsible Person. Including recent changes, Click: HERE

HOLY COMMUNION updated guidance (18/8/2020) Click: HERE

FACE COVERING- updated guidance (18/8/2020) Click: HERE

HOLDING WORSHIP OUTSIDE – updated guidance (18/8/2029) Click: HERE


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

How to use face coverings.JPG

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 celebrating Holy Communion in church ClickHERE                                         Ideas & reflections on Celebrating  Holy Communion from F&O Committee (10/7) 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

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