COVID-19 update for places of worship – January 2021

The recent lockdown in England which came into effect on 6 January 2021 has allowed places of worship in England to continue to be open for public worship (with the normal restrictions on social distancing etc).  There are however a number of changes that have been imposed, including: 

  • Although 30 people (plus workers) can attend funerals, commemorative events are limited to a maximum of six people (plus those working). 
  • Weddings are now restricted to six people (plus workers) and there is a general encouragement not to book wedding ceremonies at present. 
  • Children’s work is now very limited.  No unsupervised activities can take place and only supervised activities for children whose parents are critical workers or are considered to be vulnerable can take place, but this is normally assumed to be in the context of childcare or schools. 

Although places of worship are still open, many denominational leaders are encouraging their churches to provide online services, rather than meeting in buildings, due to the current pressure on the NHS and the increased infectiousness of the new variant of the Coronavirus. 

Please see the link to the latest update on our briefing paper “Coming out of Covid-19 – opening church buildings for worship”.