Churches can reopen for individual prayer

On Saturday 6 June, the Government announced that from 15 June, church buildings may open for private individual prayer.

In welcoming the announcement, Bishop Sarah Mullally, chair of the Church of England’s Recovery Group said:

“This is the start of the journey for church buildings to open up safely in line with Government advice and we look forward to their detailed guidance on enabling this first step to happen.”

Taking to Twitter, she also reiterated that this is, "'may’ not ‘must’".

In his own response to the announcement, Bishop James has said:

 “I would like to take this opportunity to thank churches across the Diocese for all they are doing to serve their communities at this time, and for all that they will continue to do in the weeks and months ahead.

"While welcoming this announcement, I would like to reassure churches that I understand that there will be a variety of reasons why for some, it will not be possible, safe or appropriate to open. No church should feel under pressure to do so.

"More detailed guidance is expected to be published by the Government early in the week, and Church of England guidance will be updated accordingly.”

  • Church of England guidance to help churches plan for a gradual reopening of church buildings - including for individual private prayer, funerals, weddings and baptisms - are already available to view in the Documents and FAQs section of the Church of England's COVID-19 page.
  • A simple risk assessment template has been provided.
  • For churches considering opening, the Parish Buying website now has a complete new category, focussing on the supplies needed for churches to receive visitors safely and maintain infection free surfaces, as well as hand sanitiser, dispensers and liquid soap. 

If you have any questions about the guidance, you should in the first instance, contact your archdeacon.

Copyright 2015 © The Diocese of Rochester. Registered Office: St Nicholas’ Church, Boley Hill, Rochester, Kent, ME1 1SL. Registered Charity No. 249339 The Rochester Diocesan Society and Board of Finance is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England No. 140656