New lockdown in England – the effect on places of worship – November 2020

The Government in England has announced a new lockdown from 5 November until 2 December 2020.  This means that you will not be able to use your church building for public worship or other activities, with the following exceptions:

  • Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people, plus those that are working, and it is advised that only close friends and family attend. It is also still possible to hold commemorative events, such as a wake or memorial service, providing no more than 15 people are in attendance (plus those working) and gatherings should not take place in private gardens or houses.  Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.
  • To broadcast acts of worship – it is assumed that this will include those leading and any technical crew (sound, cameras etc).
  • Individual prayer.
  • Formal childcare or where part of a school.
  • Essential services, such as food banks.
  • Other exempted activities such as some support groups – up to 15 people are allowed to meet in a public space, which can include your church building.

Weddings will not be permitted to take place except in exceptional circumstances, but it is unclear what these exceptional circumstances are.  Small prayer and bible study groups and baptisms will not be allowed.