Updated guidance on entering churches

Updated guidance about clergy and lay leaders entering churches


Following the House of Bishops’ meeting on Tuesday, it was agreed that individual diocesan bishops can issue guidance about the first stage of a gradual easing of restrictions on our buildings and activities whilst keeping our church buildings closed.


Bishop Graham has therefore written to all Licensed Clergy in our Diocese. In summary, the guidance is:

  1. Incumbents, in consultation with their churchwardens, can appoint one person to enter their church building;
  2. The appointed person should be entering the church building for any or all of the following:
    1. Pray the Daily Office (and/or - if a priest - celebrate the Eucharist on behalf of their community);
    2. Live-stream or pre-record worship (not applicable in our case);
    3. Ring one bell to mark prayers being said or to mark events (e.g. Clap for Carers, VE day anniversary);
    4. Check the fabric of the building.
  3. Bishop Graham has stressed that all clergy and appointed persons must follow the guidance and that no-one other than the appointed person (plus other members of their household, if appropriate) should at any time enter the church building.

If new COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to decline, and subject to a change in Government restrictions, Bishop Graham hopes to be able to offer new guidance about funerals in church and about opening our churches for parishioners and visitors to enter for private prayer.


It may seem like a small step, but it is a sign of hope for our communities and for the nation, and heartening to know that prayer will be offered in our church buildings once again.

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