Church of England Diocese of Rochester Burham and Wouldham

Guidance on the Easing of Restrictions in Church

Gradual easing of restrictions in church

It is the Incumbents’ responsibility to make decisions for individual churches as we come out of lockdown.

This is what I propose at present.

I believe that, with rising infection rates, and with risk of illness, fatalities and long term effects continuing, albeit reduced considerably by the vaccine, we should move gradually, bearing in mind that one person’s ‘freedom’ may limit another more vulnerable person in what they do.

To this end I propose:

We recommend wearing masks in church.  [This is now optional from 5th September]

We continue with signing in.

We keep all the doors open.

We avoid physical contact, and maintain distance as much as possible.

We increase music to two hymns, led by choir, and with others joining in, but with masks on.

We keep the shorter form of service for now, to be reviewed.

As we move through August I hope to restore longer services.

When we get to September I hope to re-introduce the sung parts of the Eucharist, and have refreshments, served by one or two persons and with others seated.

Obviously these measures might have to be suspended if government issues new legal restrictions.

This is an approach that will enable us to talk about how we feel as we go. I welcome and will listen to feedback, but if there is a lot I don’t promise to make individual responses!

If the country negotiates the new wave of infection well we may proceed to ease things further.

Mike Hayes