Welcome to our COVID-19 section

Here we will provide you with all the latest CofE information about the coronavirus, plus we will give you examples of churches in action across our diocese – be that their livestreaming of services or stories of positive community action. Please come back often as we will update this section on a very regular basis.

Following the government announcement on Friday, July 31 regarding COVID-19 rules and regulations on wearing face coverings in places of worship, we are now awaiting guidance from the Church of England. 

The wearing of face coverings by all who attend our churches, in any capacity, is now strongly advised by the Church of England. New guidance for clergy and laity addresses the issue of further reducing the spread of COVID-19 and applies Government guidance on face coverings in shops and public places to church settings and practices.

  • This guidance can be found here.

The Government has said that churches can reopen for public worship, weddings, funerals and other life cycle ceremonies, providing appropriate social distancing and hygiene practices remain in place. Church of England documents, updated Thursday, July 23, can be found here

  • Government guidance, which can be found here, was released on Monday, June 29.
  • Church of England advice on the conduct of public worship can be downloaded here.
  • Church of England advice on opening buildings for public worship can be found here.
  • Two simple explanatory posters for church doors about opening for worship can be downloaded here and here.
  • Advice on how churches work with the NHS Test and Trace system can be found here.

The Government has said churches can open for individuals to attend and pray in private.

  • Government guidance on facilitating this can be found here.
  • Church of England advice on opening for private prayer can be downloaded here.
  • It is expected every PCC will carry out a full risk assessment before opening. A Church of England template risk assessment can be found here. This guidance relates to private prayer.
  • A simple explanatory poster for church doors regarding reopening for private prayer can be downloaded here.
  • Additional guidance from the diocese on opening for private prayer can be found here.


If you cannot find an answer to your Covid-19 questions on this section of the site, please email covid-19help [at] (subject: Covid-19%20questions) . Your question will then be directed to someone who can provide you with a more detailed answer.

The Diocese has created a new guidance document which we hope will help parishes think through the challenges of emerging from lockdown. Specific guidance contained within this section of the website will need to be applied to different situations, but we hope Lifting the Lockdown will encourage and support wider planning. You can also find a black and white text version of the document here.


A prayer

A prayer about the coronavirus outbreak, offered by the national church. 

Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Diocesan Information

The latest advice and guidance from the Diocese and the Church of England can be found here.



The Church of England have recently been involved in conversations with charities and other organisations during this challenging time who are producing constructive advice/reminders about safeguarding for those they work with and support. Here is a short advice note to this effect that your parishes, PSOs and clergy may find useful. This will sit on the national website alongside other information that we are regularly updating.

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