Church of England update to coronavirus rules after Boris Johnson announcement

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Church of England update to coronavirus rules after Boris Johnson announcement

The Church of England has issued a statement following the latest announcement on coronavirus restrictions by Boris Johnson.

It said: “Following the announcement by the Prime Minister of new measures to limit the spread of coronavirus, the Church of England is continuing to engage with Government departments to review advice to churches.

“The Prime Minister emphasised that we can draw comfort from the fact that places of worship as well as schools and businesses are staying open.

It continued: “We note the change from a maximum of 30 attending weddings to a maximum of 15 from Monday September 28 and will study any detailed documents when they are available and amend advice to churches accordingly.

“We anticipate further updates in the next few days.”

The CoE says public worship can continue as there is an exemption that covers places of worship, making it possible for more than six people to gather for acts of communal worship.

But it points out people must not be part of a group of more than six unless they are from the same household or support bubble.

Bible study groups and other home groups can still meet as long as there are no more than six people in the house in total.

But the Church points to Government guidance saying that “for activities and social groups where there is a significant likelihood of groups mixing and socialising (and where it will be difficult to prevent mingling and therefore breaking the law) should not take place in a community facility.”

In addition, face coverings are currently mandatory in a range of indoor venues including places of worship and church halls.

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The CoE said: “It is everyone’s responsibility to comply with the law.

“This guidance is designed to help those who have responsibility for organising gatherings, to ensure they comply with the law and protect parishioners and the public, especially those most vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19.

“We acknowledge and share the sadness many are feeling at not being able to meet together as we used to do.

“We prayerfully and confidently look forward to the day when we can all meet together again.”

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