The Church of England is issuing regular updates on their guidance to churches with regard to COVID-19 (coronavirus ). The main points are summarised below but the full guidance (including guidance for staff) can be read by clicking here.
All people attending a service (or meeting) should maintain best hygiene practice. This includes:
- washing hands with soap and water (for 20 seconds) or using sanitiser gel on entering the building
- carrying tissues and using them to catch coughs and sneezes, and binning the tissue
- avoiding touching objects that have been recently touched by others (e.g. hymn books, service sheets, collection plates/bags, coffee/tea mugs). Practices involving such items should be reviewed and suspended if no hygienic alternative can be provided
- avoiding direct physical contact with others (e.g. shaking hands, hugging)
- avoiding touching your own face
Administration of the Communion chalice should be suspended, with just consecrated bread/wafer being offered to communicants.
Priests presiding at the Eucharist, communion administrators and servers should wash their hands, preferably with an alcohol-based (minimum 60%) hand-sanitiser, before and after administration.
Pastoral visits to those who are self-isolating should be suspended and replaced where possible with telephone contact.