Reopening of church buildings for public worship
26th Jun 2020
The Right Reverend Peter Hill, the Acting Bishop of Chelmsford, has welcomed the Government’s announcement earlier this week that church buildings will be able to reopen for public worship from 4 July, providing physical distancing remains in place.
Bishop Peter said:
This is very welcome news and marks another important step on the journey towards us being together in our sacred spaces for prayer, worship and to serve our communities.
“As always it is important to make clear that this is permissive guidance and not an expectation that all churches will be able to open for public worship from 4 July. We recognise that for many, this will not be possible to do, whilst ensuring that the necessary safety measures are put in place. Indeed, it will not be possible for any church to return to the normality of the pre-covid19 world at present. We must continue to take seriously our responsibility to keep people safe from infection, particularly the vulnerable in our communities.
“Online worship and serving our communities in different ways than we did before the pandemic will continue to be important in the weeks and months ahead. We hope that for many these new approaches will continue to be part of their practice in the long term alongside worship in our church buildings. We must build on the lessons we have learned and the progress we have seen in recent months.”
Many churches across Essex and East London will be continuing with online worship alongside worship activities inside our church buildings. Members of the public are invited to visit the national church finding website, www.achurchnearyou.com/live-stream to find details of their local online service.
The reopening of churches public worship
The Government announced on the 23 June that churches could reopen for public worship from 4 July.
Guidance for parishes and cathedrals
Detailed advice for parishes and cathedrals is available on the Church of England website. It will be updated, as necessary, in the coming days to reflect the detail of the Government guidance once published.
Weddings will be able to resume, along with other services. Updated advice for couples will be published as part of the updates mentioned above. The Church of England Recovery Group will also issue advice on subjects including singing and music for which a review by Public Health England is currently in progress.