Reopening churches for worship

Published: 23rd June 2020

The Prime Minister has announced today that it will be possible to open church buildings for public worship from 4 July, as long as all public health guidance is followed.  Weddings will also be permitted with a maximum of 30 people.

As with previous announcements around opening for private prayer and funerals, no-one should feel obligated or pushed into opening their buildings before they are ready. Safety remains of paramount importance and this will be a gradual process.  Other than weddings, there is no limit on the numbers of people allowed in a particular church, as long as they are able to be more than a metre apart. Churches will also be permitted to open for other purposes such as tourism and hospitality.

The Bishop of London, as Chair of the Church of England’s recovery group, has issued a statement in response to the announcement, which can be read here.

Bishop John said: 

“Churches have been supporting their communities throughout the lockdown in all kinds of practical and spiritual ways. It’s great news that from 4 July we will be able to open our buildings for worship and weddings and to be a place of comfort and hope for all those who have been affected by the pandemic. However, safety remains of paramount importance and we’ll be looking closely at the Government’s advice and working out how churches might open while ensuring we are protecting the vulnerable and limiting the spread of the virus.”

Advice and guidance on opening church buidings will be found on the Church of England's Coronavirus pages as soon as it is available. It is anticipated that there will be specific guidance on the type of worship permitted ahead of 4 July.

Page last updated: 23rd June 2020 4:21 PM
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