A chance comment in a conversation online with some other church leaders alerts you to an update to the Government COVID-19 guidance that somehow had passed you by. “Oh no! what have I missed?” No sooner is your meeting over, you print off the latest redaction and can be found trawling through it, line by line, comparing it with the previous version, marker pen in hand.
The highlighter ink is barely dry and you discover yet another update on the government website. Once again you print it off… and reach for the marker pen. This time all you discover is one changed heading, a different font size and some formatting changes. Annoying on one level but a relief on the another.
Keeping up to date can seem like a nightmare.
The last significant update was on the 17th July (with some formatting changes on 27th July). The significant changes can be found as follows:
- Paragraphs 6, 7 & 8 plus table entries for marriages funerals and life cycle events – clarification on numbers and reminder to be aware of social distancing and room capacity limits.
- 3. Key principles:
- Paragraph 6 & 9 – Need for Risk Assessments for newly designated place of worship plus responsibility of Venue Manager to ensure gathering limits are adhered to.
- 4. Adapting practices:
- Paragraph 4 – Worshippers should limit interaction and conversations whilst at place of worship with others from different households.
- Food and drink: Bullet point 5 – the word “must” replaced by should with regard to covering communion elements and hand washing before distribution.
- Singing Chanting etc: New paragraphs on Led Devotions, and Broadcasting.
- Outdoor Worship: New paragraphs detailing guidance for worship both in the grounds of a place of worship and in other public spaces.
- Test and Trace: Additional guidance added here plus a template form for collecting consent.
- Face Coverings: New guidance on face covering in places of worship
Follow this link for the latest version and check out the highlighted paragraphs to ensure you are up to speed. Read the guidance for yourself so that any decisions your church makes are well informed.
Make a habit of checking out www.Gov.uk periodically as well as our COVID-19 blog, and other monitoring sites, to ensure that you keep yourself as up to date as you can..
Regional Coordinator London & South East