Church of England Diocese of St.Albans Milton Bryan

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Management Updates

We continue to monitor the evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and will endeavour to keep you up to date. The information on this page is regularly updated, so please check back to ensure you have the latest guidance. 

UPDATE: FRIDAY 16 OCTOBER:

Since Wednesday 14 October, a new three-tier risk alert system for COVID-19 has been in place in England. We will study the detailed Government guidance and subsequent Church of England guidance and update any advice in due course. The Church of England has recently issued "A COVID-19 Permitted Activities under the 3 Tier System" for churches. We continue to observe and work in alignment with latest rules and advice. 

UPDATE: WEDNESDAY 30 SEPTEMBER:

In the last month we have returned to public worship in church. Songs of Praise (without singing as this is not permitted, but blessed to listen to an organist play for us) on the third Sunday at 10:30am. Holy Communion (in bread wafer form only) with Revd Steve Nuth on the fourth Sunday at 11:30am. 

We are continuing to work hard to assure you, keep you safe and warmly welcome you to a Covid-Secure Church of St. Peter, Milton Bryan.

We have a Risk Assessment that is reviewed regularly inline with latest guidance. Hand Sanitizer is available on entry; A Register is taken with Consent Forms in supporting the NHS Test and Trace; Masks are available in case you forget to bring your own face covering; Social distancing signage is installed; We observe a two meter social distance inside and outside church. 

UPDATE TUESDAY 22 SEPTEMBER: 

Following the announcement by the Prime Minister of new measures to limit the spread of coronavirus, the Church of England is continuing to engage with Government departments to review advice to churches. 

The Prime Minister emphasised that we can draw comfort from the fact that places of worship as well as schools and businesses are staying open. We note the change from a maximum of 30 attending weddings to a maximum of 15 from Monday September 28.

We anticipate further updates in the next few days. All updates will be notified at the top of this page.

Whilst Government guidance has been revised to allow certain activities to take place in church buildings, it is still vital that the necessary hygiene and social distancing precautions are kept in place in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

UPDATE 18 SEPTEMBER: 'THE RULE OF SIX' AND PLACES OF WORSHIP:

HOW DOES THE 'RULE OF SIX' AFFECT CHURCH SERVICES? Public worship can continue. There is an exemption that covers places of worship making it possible for more than six people to gather for acts of communal worship. However, it is not a blanket exemption. People must not be part of a group of more than six unless they are from the same household or support bubble.

ARE PLACES OF WORSHIP EXEMPT FROM THE 'RULE OF SIX'? There is an exemption that covers places of worship making it possible for more than six people to gather there. The exemption covers church services and as well as some other activities that take place in church buildings. However, it is not a blanket exemption. People must not be part of a group of more than six unless they are from the same household or support bubble. 

UPDATE 17 AUGUST: Open Church - Private Prayer and Regular Worship:

OPEN CHURCH: We have been OPEN for Private Prayer and Visitors throughout July and August and will continue to do so in September on Sunday afternoons 2pm to 5pm.

REGULAR WORSHIP: We are working towards opening up for regular worship and we plan to do this in September. 

These arrangements are subject to Government instruction and Church of England guidance nearer the time. 

UPDATE 10 AUGUST: How are we managing opening church back up?

What we have done: 1. We have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment which is regularly reviewed. 2. We have cleaning, hand cleansing and hygiene procedures in place, in line with government guidance. Hand sanitiser, wipes and now masks are available on entry. 3. We have taken all reasonable steps to help everyone maintain a 2 meter distance between different users of our church. We are currently restricting the use of every other pew to help maintain a safe distance when seated in church. 4. We are operating a test and trace system with forms available on entry. A COVID-19 Privacy Notice is available on request. 

What we expect you to do: 1. Refrain from entering if you are feeling unwell or have experienced any COVID-19 symptoms in the past seven days. 2. Take responsibility for your own safety and that of your household and other people by maintaining social distancing and observing all hygiene measures. 3. Ensure children are supervised at all times.

Note on Face Coverings: Congregation members should wear face coverings inside Church, this is currently a legal requirement. Those involved in services with leading or reading can remove their face coverings to read, lead or preach. There are some exemptions for those with a legitimate reason not to wear a face covering and guidance can be found here: https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2020-08/COVID%2019%20advice%20on%20face%20coverings%20v3.0.pdf.

UPDATE 8 AUGUST: Face coverings are currently mandatory on public transport and in a range of indoor venues and this includes places of worship and church halls. This is a legal requirement, unless of course you have an exemption.  

UPDATE: From 4th July, the Government has allowed resumption of public worship. However public worship can only take part in limited form. Singing is not permitted. Refreshments are suspended.  

UPDATE: Since 15 June, the Government has allowed access to places of worship for individual prayer and funerals. 

UPDATE: On 23 March 2020, the Prime minister announced that all churches must close with immediate effect, introducing strict new measures in an attempt to curb the spread of Covid-19 as part of the national Coronavirus lock-down.