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Coronavirus: Guidance on church worship (3 August)

GuidanceOnChurchWorshipThe UK Government’s Guidance for the safe use of places of worship published 29 June 2020 indicates that from 4 July, church buildings in England may be used for the following purposes, but only if measures for the safe use of the building are in place:
·       Worship services and events with attendance determined by social distancing requirements.
·       Weddings with up to 30 attendees.
·       Funerals with up to 30 attendees.
·       Private prayer.

If the capacity of a building prepared for social distancing is less than thirty, then the maximum number of attendees at a wedding and funeral is reduced accordingly.

Please note that in Wales, the devolved Government’s  Guidance on Re-Opening Places of Worship published 23 June does not allow church buildings to be used for general worship services.

This new guidance leaflet aims to help you think through the wider issues of gathering for worship. We recommend these issues are discussed carefully among church trustees alongside the Guidance on Re-Opening Baptist Churches. Above all, we encourage you not to rush to re-establish gathered corporate worship but only to do so prayerfully and after the widest possible consultation.

Version 1: 30 June 2020 (9am)
Version 2: 2 July 2020 (3pm)
Version 3: 17 July 2020 (11:30am) - guidance on singing, pre-service and post-service times, and wedding receptions
Version 4: 20 July 2020 (12:45pm) - clarification on worship outdoors; and wedding reception numbers
Version 5: 23 July 2020 (14:30pm) - clarification on worship outdoors; life events to be held separately from services of worship; and wedding reception numbers
Version 6: 28 July 2020 (10:15am) - Addition to Introduction of request for face masks to be used in church worship in England; Changes throughout to reflect relaxation of rules in Wales; Addition in Children in Worship Services of a link to BU guidance on children’s and youth ministry.
Version 7: 31 July 2020 (5:00pm) - Change to Introduction to make face coverings mandatory from 8 August. Addition to Weddings to say that the Government have withdrawn their planned allowance of 30 people at weddings receptions which had been scheduled for 1 August. 
Version 8: 3 August 2020 (4:45pm) - Clarification on the requirement to wear face coverings from 8 August at weddings and funerals.

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The Government has recently updated their advice regarding coronavirus.
The government has announced that from 4 July 2020, Places of Worship in England will be permitted to open again for services, in addition to being open for private prayer
Guidance for churches following the Government announcement that from 4 July 2020, Places of Worship in England will be permitted to open again for services
Guidance from our Legal Team on various legal and regulatory issues that have arisen because of the lockdown
Your key legal requirement prior to re-opening is to carry out a risk assessment
Posters to download and print out to use around your church building, to help keep people safe
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