Church of England Diocese of Canterbury High Downs

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Church of England Guidance Updates - Wednesday 19th July 2021

Click here for the latest information available from the Canterbury Diocese


We know there many issues that arise from national and government guidance, and that things are changing frequently in the UK – be assured that we’re working on this and we’ll stay in touch with you. In all of this, we have three key aims:

Keeping people well

Keeping people praying 

Keeping people connected

To avoid confusion - and because things are changing so frequently - we have removed most of our Coronavirus guidance from this website (with a few exceptions). Please make sure that you keep an eye on the Church of England website for all the latest guidance for churches and parishes relating to Coronavirus - and if you have specific queries you need help with, or you're in need of support, please speak with your Archdeacon in the first instance.               







The Bishop of London urges caution as we relax the regulations


The Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, has encouraged churches and individuals to continue to take precautions to protect the vulnerable from Covid-19.

She was speaking as guidance was issued by the Church of England to help churches prepare for stage 4 of the Government's roadmap for the lifting of restrictions.

Bishop Sarah, who chairs the Church of England's Recovery Group, said: “The relaxation of restrictions on Monday is only possible because of the vaccination programme which has reduced the percentage of those with Covid who become seriously ill or die.

"We are indebted to all who have developed and administered the vaccines and we encourage anyone who has not yet done so to take advantage of the protection they offer.

“Many will welcome the possibilities now before us, not least increased numbers at life events and a long awaited return of congregational and amateur choir singing.

“However, this is a difficult point in the course of the pandemic. Despite vaccination rates, cases are up, hospital admissions are up and long covid remains an ongoing concern. Therefore our approach needs to be cautious and careful.

“Taking personal responsibility means responsibility for our neighbour, not just for ourselves, and taking precautions to protect those more vulnerable than we consider ourselves to be. Local church leaders know their communities and their own circumstances, and we will support them making local decisions to keep themselves and their community safe. We would ask everyone to support those making local decisions and respect risk assessments, which are in place to protect everyone as we enter the next phase.“

Updated Monday 12th July, 6.32pm

A spokesperson for the Church of England said: “We note the Health Secretary’s statement in the House of Commons this afternoon and the Prime Minister’s press conference this evening confirming plans to move towards the next stage of the Government’s roadmap on July 19 while urging caution in response to rising cases of Covid-19 propelled by the Delta variant.

“The prospect of the lifting of legal restrictions will be both a relief and a cause of anxiety and we are aware that there is likely still to be significant guidance in place.

“We have already been considering our current guidance to churches and are awaiting updated Government guidance for places of worship.

“We will also be seeking further clarification through the Government’s Places of Worship Taskforce, which meets later this week, on a range of areas affecting public worship and places of worship.”

Updated document:

Risk assessment template for opening church buildings


Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy.
Sustain and support the anxious,
be with those who care for the sick,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may find comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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