Diocese of Manchester

Coronavirus support

LATEST ADVICE

Updated Friday 18 September 2020 – 13:00

New: The Government has introduced new regulations making it illegal for groups of more than six people to meet, unless covered by exemptions.

In line with the latest advice issued by the Church of England in response to the new regulations the Diocese of Manchester emphasises:

  • The intention is to limit the spread of the virus by minimising close physical contact as much as possible. When deciding whether to proceed with an activity, depending on local circumstances, please bear this principle in mind.
  • Areas covered by exemptions to the ‘rule of six’ include work, children’s activities and charitable services.
  • There is an exemption that covers places of worship making it possible for more than six people to gather for acts of communal worship. However, it is not a blanket exemption for any activity in a place of worship.
  • The advice provided to assist local churches in their planning and decision making.
  • It is everyone’s responsibility to comply with the law. The 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.

New: A number of FAQs have been updated in order to reflect the publication of Church of England advice relating to the “The rule of Six”

These FAQs are:

  • Is it okay to worship in a public outdoor space?
  • Funeral Advice
  • Wedding Advice
  • Baptism Advice

New: Further FAQs have now been added:

  • Can public worship take place in our churches now that the “rule of six” regulations are in place?
  • Are places of worship exempt from the “rule of six” regulations?
  • Can bible studies or home groups now meet in person?
  • How does the “rule of six apply” to choirs? 
  • Can banns be read during public worship again?

Pastoral Support during the Coronavirus Emergency

A new page offers practical advice and online resources to help you take care of yourself as you care for others during the pandemic

Pastoral Support page

Greater Manchester Remembers

Greater Manchester Remembers is an online space to honour those that have died as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic who have lived in, or have a link to, Greater Manchester.

Book of Remembrance

Frequently Asked Questions

The national church has a comprehensive list of FAQs which is constantly being updated. We are following national guidance and recommend that you check the Church of England FAQ section daily.


Can public worship take place in our churches now that the “rule of six” regulations are in place?

(New FAQ - 18 September 2020)

Public worship can continue. There is an exemption that covers places of worship making it possible for more than six people to gather for acts of communal worship.

However it is not a blanket exemption. People must not be part of a group of more than six unless they are from same household or support bubble.

Are places of worship exempt from the “rule of six” regulations?

(New FAQ – 18 September 2020)

There is an exemption that covers places of worship making it possible for more than six people to gather there. The exemption covers church services and as well as some other activities that take place in church buildings.

However, it is not a blanket exemption. People must not be part of a group of more than six unless they are from the same household or support bubble.  


What are the current local Restrictions across the Diocese of Manchester?

(updated advice – 7 September 2020)

In late July 2020 an outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) was identified in parts of Greater Manchester, East Lancashire, and West Yorkshire.

On 31 July 2020 new restrictions were put in place in parts of the North West of England – including parts of Manchester Diocese and in August 2020 particular additional restrictions were subsequently applied to Oldham and on 5 September 2020 further particular restrictions were applied to Bolton.

From 2 September 2020 - City of Manchester, Bury, Tameside, Rochdale, Salford and Trafford.

The government restrictions, introduced on 31 July 2020, continue to be in place in these areas.

The following information provides advice and guidance about what this means for our churches:

Worship

  • Our church buildings can remain open for individual private prayer and for worship. However they must only do so if they are Covid-19 secure.
  • It is permissible to attend a place of worship, where Covid-19 Secure guidance applies, but you must socially distance from people outside of your household. This means maintaining a distance of 2 metres, or 1 metre with mitigations (such as wearing face coverings).
  • The government recommend at this time that, if possible, prayer/religious services take place outdoors.
  • Those attending a place of worship should not socialise with people they do not live with.

Weddings

  • Weddings can go ahead
  • Weddings should be limited to no more than 30 people and subject to COVID-19 Secure guidelines.
  • Wedding services are required to be held inside a licensed building
  • People living outside the lockdown areas may travel into the areas to attend a wedding, but should not go into a private home or garden.

Funerals

  • Funerals can still take place in the lockdown areas
  • Funerals should be limited to no more than 30 people and subject to Covid-19 Secure guidelines
  • People living outside the lockdown areas may travel into the areas to attend a funeral.

Use of Church Halls / Church Buildings for Community Use

  • It is permitted for activities to take place in community centres (which includes church halls) as long as they follow Covid-19 Secure Guidelines.
  • People should not socialise with people they do not live with in indoor public venues
  • Those who run activities should take steps to ensure people do not interact with people they do not live with, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidance.

From 2 September 2020 - Oldham and (certain wards within) Blackburn with Darwen

Additional restrictions continue to be in place. For our churches this means:

Public Worship

  • Public worship can continue to take place.
  • It is permitted to attend a mosque, church, synagogue, temple or other place or worship, but you should socially distance from people outside of your household. This means maintaining a distance of 2 metres, or 1 metre with mitigations (such as wearing face coverings).
  • If possible, prayer or religious services should take place outdoors.

Weddings and Funerals

  • Weddings and funerals can take place.
  • A maximum of 20 people should attend these events. This should be limited to close family of the people getting married or the person who has died, or people who live(d) or formed a support bubble with them. A close friend can attend a funeral only if there are no household members or immediate families.
  • Wedding celebrations should not take place – unless they are limited to people who live together (or are in the same support bubble), or a group of up to 6 people outdoors.
  • People living outside of Oldham can travel to Oldham to attend a wedding or funeral, but they should not meet with another household in a private home or garden.

All covid-19 secure parish risk assessments should be constantly reviewed and monitored as a matter of course. However, in the light of the additional restrictions the opportunity to review risk assessments and mitigation measures would be prudent in this area of the diocese.

Further information about the additional restrictions can be accessed at the Oldham Council website.

Click here for the full Government Guidance.

Bolton - updated 11 September

Specific restrictions have been introduced by the Government in order to address the spike in cases of Covid-19. For our churches this means:

Worship

  • You may attend a church or other place or worship, but you should socially distance from people outside of your household. You must wear a mask.
  • If possible, prayer or religious services should take place outdoor

Life Events (Weddings and Funerals)

  • Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and funerals (including ceremonies at crematoria) can still go ahead, but they should have no more than 6 people.
  • This should be limited to close family of the people getting married or the person who has died, or people who live(d) or formed a support bubble with them. A close friend can attend a funeral only if there are no household members or immediate families.
  • These events should comply with the COVID-19 secure guidance and venue capacity. See detailed guidance for small marriages and civil partnerships.
  • People living outside of Bolton can travel to Bolton to attend a wedding, civil partnership ceremony or funeral, but must not meet with another household in a private home or garden.

Community use of church premises

  • Sports activities should not take place with people who you do not live with at indoor and outdoor public venue, unless this is formally organised by a sports clubs or similar orgnisation.
  • This may have implications for activites that have already recommenced or are due to recommence in church premises.

Public Transport

  • Residents should only use public transport for essential purposes, which means travel to education, work, and essential appointments only, e.g. hospital appointments
  • This may impact how people travel to our churches.

Full details are available within this document: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/bolton-local-restrictions


Can church buildings be used by schools as a place of worship or gathering?

(updated 2 September 2020)

Yes, Government guidance does not prohibit school groups from coming into church, providing any use is in line with Government guidance for safe operation of schools and places of worship.


Is it okay to worship in a public outdoor space?

(updated – 18 September 2020)

Yes. However the precautions that may need to be taken will depend on how many people attend.

Social events where more than six people from more than one household or support bubble are likely to gather should not take place outside, including in a churchyard.


What is the latest version of the Church of England Risk Assessment Template?

The latest version of the risk assessment template was published on 7 August 2020:   Risk Assessment for Opening Church Buildings to the Public.


Does a congregation have to remain seated throughout an act of worship?

(New FAQ – 2 September 2020)

The Government have issued advice that suggests that wherever possible worshippers should be seated rather than standing during worship.The rationale behind this guidance relates to minimising the risk of virus transmission. It represents best practice – but it is not regulatory.

If there are points within an act of worship (for example during the Creed and whilst the Gospel is read) that it is felt worshippers should be allowed to stand this is permissible.

Any decisions should be reached locally and be reflected within the Covid-19 risk assessment.

Are face coverings necessary during services and weddings?

(updated - 11 August 2020)

From 8 August 2020 face coverings will be required by law to be worn in a greater number of public indoor settings. This includes places of worship.

Worshippers should wear face coverings consistent with the requirements for any other public space.

There are valid exemptions for some individuals and groups not to wear a face covering in these settings:

  • Those who are leading services or events in a place of worship and those who assist them (for instance by reading, preaching or leading prayer) do not always need to wear a face covering. A face covering should be worn especially when physical distanced cannot be maintained (ie distributing consumables).
  • Government guidance indicates some health, age, or equality reasons for which people may not be expected to wear face coverings.
  • Clergy and ministers are encouraged to be sensitive to the needs of those who rely on lip reading, facial expressions, or clear sound.
  • Other assisting ministers should wear a face covering at all times, except:
    • when proclaiming a reading or leading prayers, or when leading another part of the service, provided that they are able to maintain physical distancing from other individuals whilst doing so (i.e. at a lectern);
    • when receiving Holy Communion

On 7 August 2020 The Church of England published an advice document that is available to download: Advice on Face Coverings


How does the “rule of six apply” to choirs?

(New FAQ – 18 September 2020)

The latest update to the introduction of the Government’s Performing Arts guidance states that:

“…from 14 September non-professional performing arts activity, including choirs, orchestras or drama groups can continue to rehearse or perform together where this is planned activity in line with the performing arts guidance and if they can do so in a way that ensures that there is no interaction between groups of more than 6 at any time. If an amateur group is not able to ensure that no mingling takes place between these sub-groups of no more than 6 (including when arriving at or leaving activity or in any breaks or socialising) then such non-professional activity should not take place.”

There is an ongoing discussion between Government departments on how the new rules will impact amateur choirs in places of worship and the guidance relating to places of worship will be updated as soon as possible.

Please see Church of England guidance on public worship for more information.

Please also see Church of England guidance from the RSCM on the safe resumption of choral singing.

Holy communion advice

(updated 2 September 2020)

The Church of England Guidance for the administration of Holy Communion has now been updated: Advice on the Administration of Holy Communion


Funeral Advice

(updated 18 September 2020)

Funerals should have no more than 30 people in attendance, and physical distancing should be strictly adhered to. (In Oldham the number is 20 and in Bolton the number is 6)

The Church of England advice now states that the maximum is considered to include everyone participating in the service. Anyone working is not included as part of the limit.

The Church of England guidance in relation to funerals was updated on 17 August 2020: Advice for Conducting Funerals.

The aim of this advice is to support clergy and others who take funerals. Every parish and each church building is different and there can be no single solution.

Parishes and clergy will need to assess how, and in some cases whether, they are able to conduct funerals safely in the light of the advice below. This advice follows government guidance which may change and, if so, will be updated accordingly.

Burial of ashes is permitted. If a service does go forward, similar advice will apply with regard to social distancing and hygiene; and managing the numbers of mourners.


Wedding Advice

(updated 18 September 2020)

From 4 July, the Government has allowed for weddings in places of worship, providing certain public health criteria are met including an advised maximum number of 30 people in attendance. In Oldham the maximum number is 20 and in Bolton the maximum number is 6.

The Church of England advice now states that the maximum is considered to include everyone participating in the service. Anyone working is not included as part of the limit.

On 17 August 2020 The Church of England updated their detailed advice document on conducting weddings: Advice for clergy conducting weddings.

Those observing the wedding, who should wear face coverings consistent with the requirements for any other public space. The bride, groom and the officiant are not required to wear a face covering.


Can banns be read during public worship again?

(New FAQ – 18 September 2020)

Yes – if the church is open for public worship it is perfectly appropriate for banns of marriage to be read.


Baptism Advice

(updated 18 September 2020)

Baptisms can go ahead providing appropriate steps are taken to minimise risk.

The Church of England have updated the guidance on baptisms: Advice for Clergy Conducting Baptisms which provides detailed information and advice which is intended to assist clergy as they think through the best way of celebrating baptism.

If the baptism is taking place as part of a regular act of worship the usual requirements for public worship apply.

There is a specific exemption that covers standalone baptism services. This allows a maximum of 30 people to attend church premises for a baptism without observing the ‘rule of six’. In Oldham the maximum number is 20 and in Bolton the maximum number is 6.

The Church of England advice now states that the maximum is considered to include everyone participating in the service. Anyone working is not included as part of the limit.

Full immersion baptism is now permitted. Planning must take place to ensure that:

  • Those being immersed should be at least 2 metres away from the congregation and officiants at all times, except while they are being immersed.
  • Only one person should be immersed at any time and they should only be attended by a single officiant/clergy member.
  • During the immersion, physical contact should be avoided apart from clergy/the officiant placing their hands on the head of the person being immersed.
  • Clergy/the officiant should wash their hands after each person is immersed, or if this isn’t possible they should use hand sanitise

Confirmation Advice

(updated 2 September 2020)

Confirmations are permitted to take place. Detailed guidance, published by the Church of England is available via the following link: Advice for the conduct of Confirmation services

Any parishes that are seeking to have confirmation services should contact the office of the relevant Bishop to make the appropriate arrangements.

Is there any advice and resources to support activities for children and young people in our churches?

(updated 23 July 2020)

The Church of England have confirmed that activities for Children and Young People organised by the place of worship alongside or within a service or at other times during the week are now permitted.

They should follow principles in the general guidance from the Department for Education on Out of School Settings.

In outline, these recommend that, to reduce the risk of transmission, children and young people who attend should be kept in small, consistent groups, and of no more than fifteen children and at least one staff member. Children should be assigned to a particular class or group and should then stay in those consistent groups for future sessions and avoid mixing with other groups in your setting.

If possible, those attending should practise physical distancing in line with thegovernment’s current guidance. As the risk of transmission is considerably lower outdoors, providers who normally run sessions indoors should consider whether they are able to do so safely outside on their premises.

The Diocesan Children and Youth Advisers Network has produced specific resources to assist: Mission and Ministry with Children, Young People & Families in a Church Setting

This advice was updated on 21 July 2020 to reflect the government advice regarding face coverings.

Is it appropriate to record attendance at church worship for children applying to a Church of England School in September 2021?

(New FAQ – 8 September 2020)

No. Nigel Genders, Chief Education Officer of the Church of England, in consultation with the DfE and Office of Schools’ Adjudicator (OSA) along with all Diocesan Directors of Education have issued advice that attendance at church worship should not be recorded until after Covid 19 restrictions have fully ceased. This is because we are not yet in a position where all churches can open fully for worship. Restricted seating measures are often in place in order to make churches Covid secure, hence technically churches are not fully open for worship.

Diocesan and national advice remains that children applying to a Church of England School to enter in September 2021 should not have their attendance at church services recorded post 17 March 2020 until restrictions imposed by Covid-19 have passed and there is unrestricted and open access to all for public worship, that is, until it is without any restrictions on numbers attending.

The letter issued to all diocesan clergy and a statement from Deborah Smith (Diocesan Director of Education) contain further detail and can be found here:

Statement from the Director of Education, 7 September 2020

Notes for Clergy on the variation to Admission Arrangements for many Church of England Schools and Academies following the closure of church buildings for public worship.


How can pastoral support be provided within the community?

(updated 18 August 2020)

One of the church’s most important areas of ministry is pastoral care. The usual ways of undertaking this have been very significantly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Whilst innovative ways are being found to keep in touch and offer care, the usual route of face to face visiting has not been possible in most situations. This has been challenging and distressing for very many clergy and lay ministers as well as for those who receive such care.

The Church of England has now produced specific guidance giving Advice on pastoral support in the community, including care homes.

What do churches need to do about Test and Trace?

(updated 15 September 2020)

New regulations relating to Test and Trace will be introduced from 18 September 2020.

The Government have stated that places of worship should keep a record of those who have attended to facilitate NHS Test and Trace.

Providing information for Test and Trace is voluntary.If somebody informs you that they do not want to provide their details to be shared for the purposes of NHS Test and Trace, they can choose to opt out.

The Church of England are expected to publish updated guidance in relation to Test and Trace in the coming days.

The detailed advice note that all churches are encouraged to read (published in August 2020) remains current for now: NHS Test & Trace Data.

As are the following templates:

Test and Trace Consent Form

Test and Trace online privacy notice template

Test and Trace privacy notice template

What are the first steps we should take if we believe there has been a local outbreak?

(New FAQ – 11 August 2020)

The government has produced an action card. It includes all relevant steps that should be followed.

Download action card.


What happens if somebody who has attended church Tests positive for Covid-19?

(New FAQ – 15 September 2020)

The person who tested positive will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace. They will determine who the "contacts" are of that person by asking them where they went etc.

There are criteria as to who would be a "contact". They are set out in the government guidance document about Test and Trace.

A ‘contact’ is a person who has been close to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 anytime from 2 days before the person was symptomatic up to 10 days from onset of symptoms (this is when they are infectious to others). For example, a contact can be:

  • people who spend significant time in the same household as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 sexual partners a person who has had face-to-face contact (within one metre), with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, including:
    • being coughed on
    • having a face-to-face conversation within one metre 
    • having skin-to-skin physical contact, or contact within one metre for one minute or longer without face-to-face contact 
    • a person who has been within 2 metres of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes 
    • a person who has travelled in a small vehicle with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or in a large vehicle or plane near someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 
    • Where an interaction between 2 people has taken place through a Perspex (or equivalent) screen, this would not be considered sufficient contact, provided that there has been no other contact such as any of those indicated above.

If you are a contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, then you will be notified by the NHS Test and Trace service via text message, email or phone.

If you have not been notified that you are a contact, this means you do not need to self-isolate and should follow the general guidance, for example, social distancing, hand-washing, and covering coughs and sneezes.


Is it permissible for community activities to take place in church buildings and other church-owned property?

(updated 15 September 2020)

New regulations introduced on 14 September 2020 have implications for the use of church buildings and other church owned property for community activities.Particularly in respect to Test and Trace and The Rule of Six.

In determining whether an activity can take place in light of the “Rule of Six” regulations it is necessary to consider the following government advice:

  • 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. These may include but are not limited to:
    • formal or informal clubs and hobby clubs (e.g. women’s institute, veteran’s associations, freemasons, sewing clubs, book clubs, crafts clubs, reading groups)
    • amateur choirs and orchestras
    • informally organised sport activities on facilities grounds (professionally organised sport activities are exempt)

There are particular activities that may take place within a church hall or church building which are deemed to be exemptions to the “rule of six” regulations and where groups can be larger than 6 people.These include:

  • the provision of voluntary or charitable services
  • registered childcare, education or training
  • supervised activities provided for children, including wraparound care, youth groups and activities, and children’s playgroups
  • organised sport or exercises classes or licensed outdoor physical activity. This does not include informal sport or fitness activity with family or friends - this must be limited to a group of 6
  • support groups - formally organised groups to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. This includes support to victims of crime, recovering addicts, new parents, people with long-term illnesses, those facing issues relating to their sexuality or gender, and those who have suffered bereavement.

The government have strengthened the regulations in respect to Test and Trace in community facilities.The latest guidance states:

“we are now mandating that these sectors must ask one member of every party who accesses their services to provide their contact details through NHS Test and Trace. You must have a system to ensure that you can collect contact information for your visitors in place.

Any local authority service or community facility that is found not to be compliant with these regulations will be subject to financial penalties. It is vital that you comply with these regulations to help keep people safe, and to stay open.”

With this in mind the diocese advises:

  • Individual PCCs must determine if their premises can be used by other user groups, to undertake activities that are permitted by law and are in line with the “rule of six” regulations.A full list of activities and businesses that cannot yet operate are listed in this guidance
  • Individual PCCs must ensure that measures are in place in order to comply with the mandatory requirement to have a Test and Trace system in place

The government has provided extensive guidance about multi-purpose community facilities e.g. community centres, village halls (and by definition it is assumed church halls) here: Guidance for the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities.


What should we do about our APCM?

(updated 15 September 2020)

For those parishes which did NOT hold their annual meeting of parishioners to elect churchwardens and APCM to elect PCC members and deanery synod reps before the March 2020 national lockdown, you are still required to hold the annual meetings for the purposes of both charity law and church law.

These must now be by 31 October 2020 at the latest, there will not be any further extension to this deadline.

A full and detailed advice document has been produced and can be accessed via this link: APCM Guidance.

Should you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact Donna Myers at the Diocesan Registry (dm@mandioreg.co.uk or 07395 322707)

Can parishes continue to hold PCC meetings?

(updated 15 September 2020)

The Government continue to recommend that where meetings can take place digitally without the need for face-to-face contact, they should continue to do so.

Parochial church councils can, if they wish, meet using virtual means such as Skype or Zoom which enable the members to see and hear each other. (Zoom and other platforms also allow people to participate using a conventional landline or basic mobile phone, using the dial in facility. You don’t have to have a webcam and microphone, nor a smart phone.)

However, care must be taken so that members of a PCC who are unable to participate in a meeting in that way are not excluded from the PCC’s deliberations and decision making. The Chair should take steps to ensure that they are able to participate so far as possible, including where necessary by means of the procedure for conducting business by correspondence set out in rule M29 of the Church Representation Rules.

It is recommended that following a virtual meeting, decisions such as the authorising of expenditure, entering into contracts or those that require a formal resolution of the PCC are put in written form and circulated for formal approval under the correspondence procedure in rule M29, which under Rule 76 can be conducted by email.

A PCC meeting is not a social gathering – it is a meeting. With this in mind they are permitted to take place (in person) after 14 September 2020.

It is important to remember that if held in person the meeting must not include any “social element” social distancing must be practiced and the meeting should be conducted in a covid-19 secure manner with the appropriate risk assessment supporting it.

In line with government guidance the diocese continues to encourage that meetings should be held virtually rather than in person – so if you can meet as a PCC via Zoom (or a similar virtual platform) that would be best practice.

Specific advice about holding PCC meetings is available on the CofE website.


Can bible studies or home groups now meet in person?

(New FAQ – 18 September 2020)

A group can meet in someone’s home as long as there are no more than six people in the house in total, including those not taking part in the group at that time.

Within our diocese it is important to remember that when holding a meeting in a home account must be given to any local restrictions that may apply and to adhere to them.

Groups can meet on church premises under the same conditions as apply to services of worship – for example, people attending must not be part of a group of more than six unless they are from the same household or support bubble.

However, Government guidance states:

“However, 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.”

Please take this into consideration.


Is it possible to undertake construction work at churches?

Yes. It is possible to carry out construction work. The guidance provided by the Church of England Opening church buildings for works to the building and interior must be followed and the Risk assessment template for contractors and construction workers completed.


Has the faculty jurisdiction been suspended?

(updated 7 August 2020)

No, faculty jurisdiction has not been temporarily suspended.

If the works concerned require faculty or List B approval, this is still needed and you must not proceed without the necessary approval being in place.

Where a need to undertake urgent repairs arises, please contact your Archdeacon in the first instance. If an interim faculty approval is necessary, the Archdeacon will contact the Registry and permission will be sought from the Chancellor. Please be aware that the Chancellor has already indicated that he will need to be persuaded that an interim faculty is the only option open to the parish concerned.

Any questions or queries can be submitted to DAC@manchester.anglican.org

The specific advice about the display of public notices for faculty applications (issued on 1 April 2020) has been updated as follows:

In respect of Churches that are now open for Public Worship, the Chancellor has revoked the Direction `The Requirements for a Public Notice and Covid-19` issued on 31 March 2020 but when considering an application for a faculty he will still require to be reassured that steps have been taken to bring to the attention of parishioners generally, using WhatsApp, social media, email, websites etc., details of the proposed works and a contact email address at the Diocesan Registry together with a date by which objections shall be made, not being less than 28 days from the start of the notification.

However, the Direction will remain in force for those Churches which are not open for Public Worship until they open for Public Worship.

Any questions or queries about this can be submitted to dm@mandioreg.co.uk


Do we need permission to make adaptations for social distancing or hygiene measures in our church buildings?

Permission may be required, depending on what is needed to be installed, moved or removed.

The Church of England has issued specific advice on gaining permission for temporary changes Download here.

In this diocese, the Chancellor has advised that:

[1] Free-standing hand sanitisers may be placed on a table or other object in the porch or near the entrance to a Church without the need for a Faculty.

[2] Requests for interim Faculties for wall-mounted hand sanitisers are discouraged and are unlikely to be granted save in exceptional circumstances. Applications will be determined by the Chancellor on their individual merits. If he is persuaded that it is necessary for such to be installed, an interim Faculty will be granted for a limited period of no more than 12 months on condition that any fixings are drilled through mortar joints in any wall, if appropriate, and after such hand sanitisers are removed, the wall shall be made good within 28 days.

[3] Temporary signage and cordoning does not require a Faculty.

[4] Lists A and B continue to apply.

For any queries, parishes are advised to contact their Archdeacon or email dac@manchester.anglican.org

How can parishes be helped to give financially during this time?

There are a wide range of options available and there is diocesan officer help and support to assist. Parishes are encouraged, in the first instance, to contact Paul.Bailey@manchester.anglican.org


We are constantly updating our Frequently Asked Questions on this page and signposting to advice from the national Church. If you have a question not answered in either of these places, you can contact the Diocesan Coronavirus Response Group at pandemic@manchester.anglican.org

Prayers

A prayer from an Assistant Head Teacher in Burnage

Dear Lord, at this time we pray for school leaders that you will give them peace and wisdom to make the right decisions. Help them to manage the demands of the government, with the needs of the children, the needs and wants of parents and the desires of staff. Help all who work in schools to stay safe as they currently care for the children of key workers and vulnerable children and work towards the next steps of reopening.

We pray for peace for all those anxious about the reopening of schools potentially from 1st June and the risks that carries with it. We pray that the right decisions will be made. We ask for good discussions to take place between the government and the teaching unions and that there will be positive outcomes from these.

We give thanks that some families have been able to spend quality time together during lockdown. We also pray for those families who have found lockdown challenging; for some because they are struggling to meet the needs of their children; for others who are balancing trying to work from home whilst also home educating their children; while others are facing financially difficulty or suffering from ill health.

We give thanks for the many different agencies that have supported schools as they continue to meet the wide ranging needs of their communities and we pray that the new partnerships formed will go from strength to strength.

Overall we pray, Lord, that you will protect the children in our schools and keep them well in body and in mind and we pray that we will overcome this virus so that children can return to school safely. Lord in your mercy; Hear our prayer.



A prayer from a school governor

“They just talk and talk”. Lord, this is what teachers have found when children have recently joined the provision for key workers having been at home for weeks.

Father of us all, our children are suffering. Adults in their homes may be too busy to talk to them. They miss their friends and they miss just talking. They are under-stimulated.

Lord, bring healing to body, mind and soul of our children especially as they start to return to school and give staff great skill in supporting and helping these children as they rediscover relationships outside the home and talk and talk.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.



A prayer for those working from home

Father of creation, the structure and the shape of our days are so different.

There are so many distractions at home and there is a huge temptation to spend more time working than we did before lockdown.

Help us to use our time wisely, to invest in the relationships most important to us and to take proper breaks.

May we rediscover a new shape to our days that is centred and guided by your Spirit.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Diocesan prayer in time of crisis

The Church of England Diocese of Manchester,
Church House,
90 Deansgate,
Manchester M3 2GH

Manchester DBF Company number 149999, Charity number 249424
Telephone: 0161 828 1400