Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance and Resources For Churches

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Please see below updates of important directives and guidance in this fast moving crisis. We trust that these new arrangements will be part of the support for all those serving Jesus Christ in church and society.

Your three key sources of up-to-date advice, guides and instructions:

For Government Updates click here

For NHS Updates click here

For National Church of England Updates click here


Latest Updates

(29.07.20)

Updated Facilities & Halls CofEB Guidance

The government have updated its guidance, eased restrictions and published a roadmap for the rest of 2020/21. The attached updated version of previously published CofEB guidance incorporates:

  • all known changes for use to 1st September
  • links to resources on youth club opening
  • includes a new statement from Ecclesiastical Insurance on liability
  • provides sample working for PCCs on hire agreements and other documents
  • outlines necessary some ‘culture changes’ in the way hire arrangements work
  • updates all links to external sources of information.

Your Area Dean or Archdeacon are always ready to assist the task of opening our buildings, please do not hesitate to ask for help.

Simon Heathfield, Archdeacon of Aston

Jenny Tomlinson, Archdeacon of Birmingham


(29.07.20)

Faculty Work in CofE Birmingham

To support and help parishes in these times the Diocesan Chancellor has agreed to give a blanket 12-month extension to all outstanding Faculty work in the diocese, due to the delays to projects caused by Covid-19. Parishes should still contact the Registry to request any extension, but this can then be granted immediately, and the Registry can arrange the updated paperwork. We are grateful for this support and the work Ben Smith has done to arrange it and hope that parishes will see it as a positive measure.

Simon Heathfield, Archdeacon of Aston

Jenny Tomlinson, Archdeacon of Birmingham


Face Coverings 

(24.07.20)

With Face Coverings becoming mandatory in UK shops on Saturday, July 24th, yesterday afternoon the national CofE were able to publish revised versions of all their COVID- 19 guidance issued to date, to incorporate Government guidance and policy on their use.

We realise this is coming to you on Friday and are sorry implementation is therefore in such a short timescale.

As with our previous advice, our encouragement is to progress things at a pace you are comfortable with and is sustainable whilst obviously wanting to keep everyone as safe as possible. The following is offered with that in mind.

In addition issued three** new national CofE documents have been issued,

  1. New Face coverings document
  2. New Safer Churches – Helping public places to reopen safely document
  3. New Holy Communion and the distribution of the elements document

** additionally an updated Outdoor Worship and Churchyard document was issued separately at 19:32 yesterday

Key points to note are,

  • Q. Should I wear a face covering in a church building?
  • Face coverings are currently mandatory on public transport and will be mandatory in shops and in supermarkets from 24 July 2020. People are also encouraged to wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces where there are people they do not normally meet, such as a place of worship.

We strongly advise that face coverings should be worn by all those attending a place of worship, including ministers, worshippers, staff, volunteers, contractors and visitors, where there may be other people present; remembering that they are mainly intended to protect other people, not the wearer, from coronavirus (COVID-19) and that they are not a replacement for social distancing and regular hand washing. More detailed guidance on face coverings can be found here.

  • Face coverings are different from surgical and other face masks that are part of PPE used in health and social care settings. We do not recommend the use of PPE in church buildings other than for specialist cleaning activities
  • The Exemptions from wearing face coverings are listed in the <>
  • This <> offers detailed assistance in adapting church buildings to enable safe reopening and worship. Developed by architects IF_DO, in partnership with the Church of England,
  • For churches & cathedrals with shops, the Government mandatory face mask ruling is fully applicable, whether the shop is an obvious self-contained place or the corner of a building, this law applies.
  • All new and updated documents can be found on the national <>

As with all previous guidance, consideration given to focusing on your parish and community setting is vital. All actions steps should continue to be planned to adhere to Government social distancing policy, protecting the NHS and to fit the pace and needs of your church.

Please do not hesitate to be in touch with your Area Dean or with one of us, if you have specific questions or concerns.

 

Simon Heathfield, Archdeacon of Aston

Jenny Tomlinson, Archdeacon of Birmingham

 


Church of England - churches guidance webpage

The National Church of England team have made a number of key updates to their online guidance pages, including advice about caring for church grounds, and guidance when using online platforms. All amends are endorsed by the Church of England Birmingham and the updated measures should be put into practice.

The CofE Guidance webpage can be accessed directly, please click here

 


Related links and documents

COVID-19: Personal Risk Factors (14 .07.20)

Resuming public worship in our buildings: update (09.07.20)

Guidelines for church hall / facilities hire during COVID-19

+ Government Financial Measures

+ The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

+ The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme FAQs

+ Finances: Loss of Incomes

+ National Lottery Heritage Fund: Emergency Coronavirus Response

+ Multilingual Hygiene & Prevention Posters

+ Easy-to-read Coronavirus Advice: for those with learning disabilities

Pathways for accessing support in Birmingham

+ Access to church buildings during lockdown: advice for incumbents

Property guidance on construction work resuming | 13 May 2020

A statement from Bishop David regarding the recent national CofE announcement about church building access  |  6 May 2020

A statement from Bishop David in regard to the continued national lockdown situation | 26 May 2020

Access to church buildings during lockdown: advice for incumbents | 26 May 2020

Keeping church buildings clean | 26 May 2020

Towards re-opening Church Buildings: COVID-19 Risk Assessment Checklist for Parish Churches | 26 May 2020

Access to church buildings during lockdown: general advice for incumbents, churchwardens and PCC members | 26 May 2020

Click here and here for details of organisations and offered funding support in relation to the COVID-19 Crisis

+ Response to questions regarding Gift Aid Small Donation Scheme

+ Letter to faith groups regarding the pressures placed upon faith communities as a result of social-distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic

Safeguarding: Engaging with children online

Statement from Bishop David re continued national lockdown situation - 26 May 2020

UPDATED National CofE advice on COVID-19 - 9 June 2020

+ Opening for private prayer

Comment from Bishop David regards 4 July

Archdeacons' guidance regards worship services from 4 July

Notification of further Recovery Group documents - 2 July 2020

 


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