Wednesday, 19 February 2020 11:58

Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for parishes

Up to date Guidance Documents

>> Four step government roadmap

>> Permitted Activities under national 'step' regulations

>> Conducting public worship

>> Legal questions on conducting public worship 

>> Individual private prayer

>> Face coverings

>> Weddings

>> Holy Communion 

>> Baptisms 

>> Funerals 

>> Ordinations and Consecrations 

>> Confirmation services 

>> Pastoral encounters

>> Outdoor worship and churchyards

>> Keeping church buildings clean

>> Opening cathedral and church buildings to the public

>> Opening church buildings for works to the building and interior 

>> Permissions for temporary works in churches and cathedrals

>> Pastoral support in the community including care homes

>> Mental health and wellbeing

>> Personal risk factors to clergy, church workers and volunteers

>> Safeguarding FAQs

>> Test and Trace

>> Church Heating

>> Live streaming Worship

>> Receiving Holy Communion by simultaneous administration



>> Church reopening poster (Word | PDF)

>> Risk assessment template for contractors and construction workers

>> Risk assessment template for opening church buildings

>> Risk assessment Template for Outdoor Worship

>> Test and Trace consent form template

>> Test and Trace online privacy notice template

>> Test and Trace privacy notice template


Covid-19 Permitted Activities under National 'Step' Regulations 

Added 12 April 2021

Government guidance states that, from 12 April 2021, communal worship is permitted provided that any person attending is alone or part of a group all from the same household or from two linked households and must not join any other group or mingle with any person from another group.

For churches planning to re-open, a risk assessment must be carried out and all reasonable measures taken to limit risk of transmission ofcoronavirus.

  • Weddings – up to 15 people are allowed for weddings held in church. This figure does not include clergy or those present to carry out a duty (warden / organist etc).
  • Funerals – up to 30 people are allowed for funerals held in church. 
  • Baptisms may be held as part of communal worship, but private services may not yet be held.

Note - clergy or those present to carry out a duty (warden / organist etc) or not included in this number.

Parent and child groups (i.e., groups for the benefit of children under 5) are permitted to meet indoors or outdoors (but not in a private dwelling) provided the gathering consists of no more than 15 persons (not counting any child under 5).

>> View overview of permitted activities

Update on Singing

Added 12 April 2021 

A single small group of singers - whether amateur or professional - will be allowed to perform, or rehearse for performance, only where essential to an act of communal worship. This should be limited to as few singers as possible. Communal singing should not take place and strict physical distancing should be observed.

When communal worship takes place in the grounds or the outside space of a place of worship, the congregation may join in with singing, and should follow the principles set out in the Performing Arts guidance. This includes ensuring that congregation members follow physical distancing rules.Communal singing in other public open spaces should not take place. From 29 March 2021, the new social contact limits apply, meaning the Rule of 6 applies unless all involved are from the same household or 2 linked households.

Dispensation from holding services

Added 12 April 2021

Churches that had previously been granted dispensation from holding normal services until the end of March have been told that this has now been extended up to and including 16 May 2021.

A reminder that if you wish to reopen a church for private prayer or Sunday worship before 16 May 2021 then you must look again at your risk assessments and, if any changes are made, send to the
relevant archdeacon for approval.

APMs and APCMs

Added 12 April 2021

The guidance document for holding APMs and APCMs during Covid-19 restrictions has been updated - please see the new version here.

The deadline for holding APMs and APCMs has been extended to 30 June 2021 with visitations taking place by the end of September. This should give parishes a degree of flexibility if they would prefer to hold their APCM once lockdown restrictions should have been eased.

Confirmation that it is quite in order to hold APCMs this year by zoom, as was allowed last year. 
The Registry will aim to update the guidance that was prepared last 
autumn, and it will be added to the website.

More information can be found here.

Digital streaming

Read some of the advice about recording video material and live streaming here.

View our list of forthcoming live-streams in the diocese.

Door-to-door deliveries

We have received a number of queries about the delivery of parish magazines, pew sheets, etc. The advice from the national CofE is that door-to-door deliveries do carry a risk of transmitting the virus, as the deliverer may well be touching garden gates, letterboxes and of course the items they are delivering.

The scientific evidence suggests that the virus can remain on cardboard for 24 hours, meaning that letters, leaflets and envelopes will carry a similar risk. Wearing gloves may protect the volunteer deliverer, but could transmit the virus from House A to House B unless they washed between each delivery. And, of course, deliveries of such items are not classed as essential travel by the government.

There is, of course, a desire for churches to keep in touch with those who are housebound or self-isolating who do not have access to digital technology.

Our advice is that pastoral support can be carried out by phone calls. If items do need to be delivered, they can be sent by the Royal Mail, as postal workers have been given training in how to deliver items more safely. It also cuts down on the number of visits to each household. This advice echoes the advice of the national C of E, which you can read under the FAQs here.

See also: CofE Coronavirus liturgy and prayer resources

Last modified on Monday, 12 April 2021 14:20

The Diocese of Derby

For SatNav directions, please use DE1 3DR. However, please note that the car park behind Derby Church House (Derby Cathedral Car Park) is contract only Monday-Friday and so unavailable to visitors. Paid parking is available at Chapel Street Multistorey Car Park (DE1 3GU), Park Safe (Bold Lane) DE1 3NT and the Assembly Rooms Car Park (DE1 3AF). Derby Cathedral Car Park is available as paid parking on Saturdays and Sundays.

Contact and Find Us

Derby Church House

Full Street, Derby DE1 3DR

01332 388650


Map and parking information