Church of England Diocese of Blackburn St. Oswald Preesall

COVID-19 UPDATE

1 Oct 2020, 10:45 a.m.

With effect from Monday 28th September, the numbers permitted at services has changed. Also, please note that, with immediate effect, the wearing of face coverings, throughout the service, is a legal requirement for everyone apart from the minister/lay leader, readers of bible passages while they are reading, intercessors while they interceding, organists whilst at the organ, and choirs while they are singing. Children and adults as listed on the government website are exempt from wearing face coverings.

The new restriction set out below supersede any information/instructions/guidelines that may have been issued previously. The numbers include all ages, including infants and are taken directly from the Church of England Coronavirus Guidance and must be adhered to.

We are in a privileged position in which worship is not being classed as a social activity and is, therefore, allowed to continue but, if we abuse that privilege, we may lose it so please keep to the rules/guidelines and please be patient and respectful to those having to enforce/police them.

GENERAL PUBLIC WORSHIP

The maximum number permitted will vary from church to church depending on size and layout. It will also vary depending on whether people are in households/bubbles or come as individuals. However, churchwardens/sidespeople must ensure that everyone is seated according to social distancing rules. This means that they should be 2 metres apart from other households/bubbles but, if necessary, they can be 1+metres apart as long as they are wearing face coverings.

Everyone attending services will be required to use hand sanitiser on entering and leaving church and to give their names and phone numbers for Track & Trace purposes.

FUNERALS

The total number allowed to attend a funeral in church is 30. This assumes that the church can accommodate 30 people socially distanced. If it can't, the number would have to be reduced accordingly.

This figure does not include the minister/lay leader, the verger, or the organist but it DOES include the choir and anyone reading or eulogising. It also includes any funeral directors' staff, apart from while they are actively helping (e.g. carrying the coffin).

The rules regarding face coverings is the same as for general worship above with the same exceptions plus anyone giving a eulogy is exempt whilst they are giving the eulogy.

WEDDINGS

The total number allowed to attend a wedding in church is 15.

This figure does not include the minister, the verger, or any musicians but it DOES include the bride and groom.

The rules regarding face coverings is the same as for general worship above with the same exceptions plus the bride and groom are exempt from wearing them.

BAPTISMS

The total number allowed to attend a Baptism in church is 6.

This figure does not include the minister, verger/churchwarden, or Baptism Coordinator who assist with the service. It does include the person/people being baptised, all children, parents, godparents, and any musicians.

The rules regarding face coverings is the same as for general worship above.

SINGING

Small choirs/singing groups are permitted to sing in church services but the congregation are not.