Coronavirus guidance for churches

LATEST ADVICE

Updated: Friday 18 June 2021, 11:50

The following FAQs have been updated:

  • Can public worship take place in our churches?
  • What advice is available regarding Funerals?
  • What advice is available regarding Weddings?

 

Government Announcement on 14 June 2021

On Monday 14 June 2021 the Prime Minister announced that

  • moving to Step 4 on 21 June 2021 will not take place
  • a 4-week pause at Step 3.has been confirmed
  • it is expected that England will move to Step 4 on 19 July 2021, though the data will be reviewed after 2 weeks in case the risks have reduced
  • the government will continue to monitor the data and the move to Step 4 will be confirmed one week in advance.

The document published to support this announcement can be accessed via this link:

Coronavirus restrictions: what you can and cannot do

Following the Prime Minister’s statement on coronavirus restrictions, the Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, who chairs the Church of England’s Covid Recovery Group, said:

“The confirmation tonight of a delay in the next stage of lifting Covid-19 restrictions will be a blow to many people but I understand why this decision has been taken.

“I am hugely thankful for the success and speed of the vaccination programme which has undoubtedly saved many lives - but we do have to take the spread of the more transmissible Delta variant very seriously and do all we can to protect each other as Christians called to love our neighbour.

“I know from those on the front line that the pressures on the NHS are extreme and understand that a delay of a few more weeks in lifting restrictions could make a big difference in helping us all to get ahead in the ‘race’ against this virus which has caused so much death and misery.

“Thankfully church buildings remain open for public worship and prayer. While we look forward to restrictions on worship being lifted in the near future, I will continue to press for ongoing appraisal of choral and congregational singing.

“We will also update our guidance on public worship where necessary in light of today’s announcement and I understand that the Business Committee of the General Synod will be looking at options for the planned July meeting of Synod in the next few days.

“The Prime Minister’s comments about lifting the limit of 30 people attending weddings will be a relief to many. We will await the detail from the Government about what it means in practice and will update our guidance to churches accordingly.

“Most of all, however, we do have hope. This pandemic has been a trial for us all but we put our trust in God and have hope that there are better times to come.”

This statement is fully endorsed by Bishop David.

 

Are there any additional measures or restrictions necessary in areas of the diocese where there is a surge of Variant B.1.617.2 (Indian Variant) Cases?

(Updated: 15 June 2021)

The government have issued the following additional guidance that seeks to help stop the spread:

  • Get both doses of the vaccine when you are offered it, and encourage others to do so as well
  • Participate in surge testing in your local area, whether you are vaccinated or not
  • Self-isolate immediately if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste) or if you’ve tested positive for COVID-19

In the areas listed above, you should also take particular caution when meeting anyone outside your household or support bubble. Wherever possible, you should try to:

  • Meet outside rather than inside where possible
  • Keep 2 metres apart from people that you do not live with (unless you have formed a support bubble with them), this includes friends and family you don’t live with
  • Minimise travel in and out of affected areas

You should also:

  • Get tested twice a week for free and isolate if you are positive
  • Continue to work from home if you can
  • Refer to local health advice for your area (linked above)

You should get tested for COVID-19. This includes:

You should self-isolate immediately if you have symptoms or a positive test result for COVID-19.

The diocese continues to advise caution and care in order that everyone can protect themselves and others from the virus – and strongly encourages everyone to take account of the advice and guidance from Central Government and from individual local authorities.

 


Beware of scams!

beware the scamWe are aware of a number of scams where companies claim to be working on behalf of the Church of England to provide services such as working toward net zero carbon or installing COVID-safe air purifiers. Please be very wary of such approaches and take a few minutes to check out that companies are genuine by calling someone at Church House. Don't be pressured into providing details of your bank accounts.  Some parishes have lost money to scammers in this way.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


 

Can public worship take place in our churches?

(Updated: 18 June 2021)

Yes – public worship is permitted.

The government has defined a place of worship as follows:

‘A place of worship refers to a building used for regular religious ceremonies, communal worship or similar gatherings by religious organisations. It includes the use of surrounding grounds, for example, adjoining carparks, courtyards or gardens for which the venue managers are also responsible.

The guidance also covers premises when being used for religious gatherings, even when their primary purpose is not for religious gatherings, such as a community centre.

These premises will only be able to be used where they are permitted to be open and additional guidance may be applicable.

This guidance does not cover public parks, private homes, cultural sites or other open spaces, such as woodlands which may be used for religious purposes. If people do want to engage in worship in these spaces, then the guidance relevant to that place should be adhered to.’

The Church of England document Covid-19 Advice on conducting public worship provides detailed guidance to support parishes and clergy. It is available via this document: COVID-19 Advice on the Conduct of Public Worship.

 

Is Individual Private Prayer Permitted in our churches?

(Updated: 29 March 2021)

Yes, it is permitted for our churches to be open for individual private prayer at this time.

It is recommended that a risk assessment is undertaken and all reasonable measures are taken to limit risk of transmission of virus.

 

Is it okay to worship public outdoor space that is not a churchyard?

(Updated: 18 May 2021)

Yes, this is permitted.

If people do want to engage in worship in these spaces, then the guidance relevant to that place should be adhered to.’

 

Is singing permitted during acts of worship?

(Updated: 18 May 2021)

On 17 May 2021 the Church of England updated their advice regarding music and singing.  The advice is as follows: -

Government guidance states that singing should follow the principles of safer singing and the principles set out in the performing arts guidance. In particular:

  • Where music plays a big part in worship, and recordings are available, these should be considered as an alternative to live singing or performing.
  • Any instrument played during worship should be cleaned thoroughly before and after use.
  • Any performers should be positioned in a way that avoids face-to-face performance, as far as possible.
  • Limit the duration of any singing, as far as possible.
  • Do what you can to improve ventilation to ensure plenty of fresh air whenever possible, including opening windows.
  • Always ensuring there is a gap of at least 2m between any performers and the first row of worshippers. Further mitigations like screens or other barriers between the performers and worshipper may also be considered.
  • If worship takes place inside, the congregation should not participate in any activity that can create aerosols, including communal singing, shouting and chanting.

Singing - Indoors

  • A group of up to 6 amateur singers can perform, or rehearse for performance with physical distancing being maintained at all times.
  • There is no limit on the number of professional singers but they should follow guidance on performing arts. Children’s choirs can also perform, whether from one school or more than one, following Government advice for out of school settings on group sizes and infection protection and control for example.
  • Where possible during worship the singers should be at the front of the church while the rest of the congregation remain seated.
  • Communal singing, by the congregation, should not take place and strict physical distancing should be observed.

Singing - Outdoors

  • When communal worship takes place in the grounds or the outside space of a place of worship, the congregation may join in with singing in multiple groups, each consisting of up to 30 people, following the principles set out in the performing arts guidance. This includes ensuring that congregation members follow physical distancing rules. 
  • The Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) has produced more detailed resources on singing and music, which can be found here.

 


What advice is available regarding Holy Communion?

(Updated: 30 December 2020)

The Church of England Guidance for the administration of Holy Communion is available here: Advice on the Administration of Holy Communion

The Church of England have now published advice about Receiving Holy Communion in both kinds by simultaneous administration it is available at this link.

 

What advice is available regarding Funerals?

(Updated: 18 June 2021)

There is no legal numerical restriction on numbers able to attend a funeral. The limit is determined by how many people the covid secure venue can safely accommodate with social distancing.

A statutory risk assessment MUST be carried out and all reasonable measures must be taken to limit the risk of transmission of coronavirus. (“MUST” means this is enforceable by law.)

From 21 June 2021, the rules on the number of people who can attend a commemorative event following a funeral such as a wake, stone setting or ash scattering, change.

The number of people who can attend these events in a COVID-Secure venue or other venue (such as a garden of a private home) will be determined by how many people a venue can safely accommodate with social distancing measures in place, including guests of all ages and anyone working at the event.

On 18 June 2021 the Church of England published updated advice for conducting funerals. It is available via this document: COVID-19 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.

 

What advice is available regarding Weddings?

(Updated: 18 June 2021)

From 21 June 2021, there is no legal limit on the number of people who can attend a wedding ceremony.

The number of people who can attend these events in a COVID-Secure venue or other venue (such as a garden of a private home) will be determined by how many people a venue can safely accommodate with social distancing measures in place, including guests of all ages and anyone working at the event.

Inside private homes, and in enclosed structures in gardens of private homes, weddings can only be held in line with broader social contact rules of up to 6 people or 2 households, except in the case of an urgent marriage where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover (‘deathbed weddings’). These can take place in private dwellings with up to 30 people.

Some restrictions on these events will remain in place to enable them to take place safely. This includes table service requirements, face coverings, social distancing, and restrictions on dancing and singing, as at present.

The Church of England have updated their advice for conducting weddings and it is available via this document: COVID-19 Advice for clergy conducting weddings.

Particular attention is drawn to the fact that face coverings must be worn by all in attendance (with the exception of the officiant, the bride and groom) .

 

 

Can banns be read during public worship?

(Updated: 8 March 2021)

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

Banns of Marriage can only be called within the context of the principal service of public worship in a parish church on a Sunday. Banns cannot be called behind closed doors during a ‘live-streamed’ or ‘virtual service’. Neither can they be called by way of a public notice which is displayed on the church door. To be valid, banns can only be called if the church is open for members of the congregation or the general public to physically attend the service concerned.

 

Can Baptisms take place? 

(Updated: 11 March 2021)

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

If the baptism takes place as part of communal worship, there is no numerical cap – but the maximum number of attendees must not exceed the number that the building can safely accommodate whilst remaining covid-19 secure.

The Government recognises that communal worship comes in all shapes and sizes with some regular services as well as some additional services that mark important milestones in the faith calendar – with this in mind if a church arranges an additional service (that other members of the church are free to attend) for a baptism to take place then the maximum number of attendees must not excecced the number that the building can safely accommodate while remaining covid-19 secure.

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.

Full immersion baptism is 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 sanitiser.

 

Can “Private” Life Event services take place?

New FAQ: 11 May 2021

“Private” services (i.e: not performed in the context of communal worship) will be deemed to be a “significant event” and will be permitted.

These services may include baptisms (not performed in the context of communal worship) or renewal of marriage vows.

The gathering MUST consist of no more than 30 people, a statutory risk assessment MUST be carried out and all reasonable measures taken to limit the risk of transmission of coronavirus.

 

Can Confirmations take place? 

(Updated: 30 December 2020)

Yes.  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 it a requirement for our churches to have Covid-19 Risk Assessment in place?

 (Updated: 29 March 2021)

Yes.

For our church buildings to be open we need to have conducted a risk assessment.

The latest version of the risk assessment template was published on 26 March: Risk Assessment Template for Opening Church Buildings to the Public 

The Safer Churches document also illustrates safe ways to manage the flow of people into and out of the building while noting that corporate worship and some of the other activities it mentions are not possible at this time.

Parishes are reminded that under existing Health & Safety legislation, failure to complete a risk assessment that accounts for Covid-19 could constitute a breach of that legislation, as could having a risk assessment with insufficient measures.

The actions the enforcing authority can take include the provision of specific advice to employers to support them to achieve the required standard, through to issuing enforcement notices to help secure improvements. Serious breaches and failure to comply with enforcement notices can constitute a criminal offence, with serious fines and even imprisonment for up to 2 years.

 

Is it necessary for face coverings to be worn in churches? 

(Updated: 11 May 2021)

Face coverings are now required by law to be worn in a greater number of public indoor settings. This includes places of worship. There is no easing to this legal requirement after 17 May 2021.

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

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

 

What do churches need to do about Test and Trace

 (Updated: 22 September 2020)

New regulations relating to Test and Trace were 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 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

Greater Manchester Combined Authority have conveyed a request from the NHS that public venues, such as places of worship, display a QR code to aid in Test and Trace, to support app that was launched in September 2020.

Download Introducing the NHS covid-19 App

Download How to create a QR poster for your venue

 

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.

 

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.

 


Is there any updated advice regarding recording church attendance for schools admissions purposes?

(New FAQ: 25 November 2020)

Yes.  On 24 November 2020 Deborah Smith produced a document that gives advice and information – it can be accessed here: School Admissions Advice Update November 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.

 


Is ministering to the sick and dying permissible within the community?

(Updated: 11 May 2021)

At the present time, ministering to the sick and dying is permitted on the basis that it constitutes work purposes of the provision of voluntary or charitable services.

From 17 May 2021 there will be no restriction, assuming that no more than 6 people gather.

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.

 


Is it permitted to serve refreshments after a service?

New FAQ: 18 May 2021

Serving refreshments after a service or as part of a community activity or event is now permitted.

You can serve food and drink for consumption inside, outside, and for takeaway or delivery.

The Government guidance for restaurants and cafes applies, even if churches are serving refreshments for free, or for a voluntary contribution.

In addition, the limits on gatherings still apply:

• gatherings of up to 30 people are permitted outdoors

• gatherings of up to 6 people or 2 households of any size are permitted indoors

Full advice is available within section 24 of the Church of England document that can be accessed via this link:

COVID 19 advice on conducting public worship v3.3.pdf (churchofengland.org)

 

 


Is it permissible for community activities to take place in church halls?

(Updated: 18 May 2021)

Government guidance, published on 17 May 2021, sets out the basis on which activities can take place in community facilities (e.g. church halls).

COVID-19: Guidance for the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities

It states:

From 17 May, larger gatherings exceeding the social contact limits may take place providing certain conditions are met.

This may enable certain social gatherings such as informal classes, activities, and events (subject to the capacity caps on events) to go ahead.

These gatherings must be organised by a business, charity, public body or similar organisation.

The organiser must take reasonable steps to ensure that those attending do not mix beyond what is permitted – up to 6 people or 2 households indoors and up to 30 people outdoors – (unless another exemption exists, such as for organised sport or exercise, supervised activities for children or a significant life event).

Activities which are exempt from social group limits or which have different group limits include:

  • support groups 
  • childcare provided by a person who is registered under Part 3 of the Childcare Act 2006 or supervised activities for children 
  • education or training 
  • providing essential voluntary services or public support services, including digital access to public services, medical treatment, the provision of food bank or other support for the homeless or vulnerable people, blood donation services or support in an emergency 
  • voting, counting of votes or activities ancillary to voting or the counting of votes in an election or referendum  

See full guidance on what you can and cannot do for a list of activities with legal exemptions from the social contact limits.

The decision as to whether to allow an activity to take place in a church hall rests with the PCC as the premises owner.

On that basis it is advised that when considering a request to use the church hall the organiser of the activity is asked to confirm (in writing):

  1. The activity that they are putting on is allowed
  2. Which guidance they are using - there is specific guidance for specific activities (egg Grassroots sports) that the government have issued and which businesses/organisations will be aware of and must work within
  3. Their risk assessment evidences that they can undertake the activity in a covid-19 secure way (and you should ask for sight of the risk assessment)

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.”

 

Is it permissible for community activities to take place in places of worship?

(Updated: 18 May 2021)

The law only permits a limited number of community activities to take place in places of worship (our churches). at the present time.  This is more restrictive than what is permitted within church halls and community centres.

Full details are available in this document:  COVID-19: guidance for the safe use of places of worship and special religious services and gatherings during the pandemic

The permitted activities are as follows:

  • providing essential voluntary services or public support services, including digital access to public services, medical treatment, the provision of food bank or other support for the homeless or vulnerable people, blood donation services or support in an emergency 
  • Support groups that have to be delivered in person with up to 30 participants where formally organised to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support.  

This includes, but is not limited to, support to victims of crime, people in drug and alcohol recovery, new parents and guardians, people caring for those with long-term or terminal illnesses, or who are vulnerable, people facing issues relating to their sexuality or gender, those who have suffered bereavement, and vulnerable young people, including for them to meet youth workers.

All childcare and supervised activities are allowed indoors (as well as outdoors) for all children.

Numbers should be limited to the number of people who can safely socially distance in the venue in line with COVID-19 Secure guidance. See guidance on providers of out-of-school settings.

Parent and child groups can take place indoors (as well as outdoors) for up to 15 people (children under 5 will not be counted in this number)

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 government regulations.   
  • 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
  • Individual parishes contact pandemic@manchester.anglican.org to seek clarification and advice if they’re unsure as to whether a specific activity is permitted.

 


Can PCC meetings be held in person at this time?

(Updated – 8 June 2021)

There has been no change to the guidance in relation to holding a PCC meeting as we have moved into Step 3. 

It is recognised that for many parishes holding a PCC meeting in person is preferable. 

However, at this time parishes should hold their PCC meetings online or by telephone.  

There is only one exception to this.

The exception is where a parish CANNOT hold the PCC online or by telephone. In this very exceptional situation it is possible to hold the meeting in person (as it would be deemed necessary to provide voluntary or charitable services).

The option to meet in person should only be taken if holding a meeting virtually or via telephone is not feasible at all.

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.

 


Can small groups meet, and can talks be given that are not part of public worship?

(Updated: 11 May 2021) 

Yes, but they must be outdoors. Outdoor gatherings (including in private gardens) of up to six people or two households are permitted from 29 March 2021.

From 17 May 2021 the numerical limit for outdoor gatherings increases to 30 people.  No outdoor gatherings of more than 30 people are permitted unless all involved are from the same household or 2 linked households.

From 17 May 2021 Homegroups or other meetings taking place in private homes (including vicarages) are permitted. 

The maximum number legally eligible to meet must not exceed six (unless all involved are from the same household or 2 linked households)

 


Is it possible to undertake construction work at churches?

(Updated 9 December 2020)

Yes. It is possible to carry out construction work. The guidance provided by the  Church of England should be followed:

Guidance for PCCs, incumbents and cathedral Chapters: opening church buildings for works to the building and interior

This guidance document contains a link to an editable version of a template risk assessment for use by parishes when considering access for contractors and construction workers.

 

Has the Faculty Jurisdiction been suspended?

(Updated: 10 November 2020)

No, faculty jurisdiction has not been 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.

Specific advice regarding the display of public notices for faculty applications has now been received from the Chancellor – it is available via this link.

 


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


PRAYERS

A number of resources are available at www.ChurchofEngland.org/PrayerForTheNation.

A prayer for those who mourn
Gracious God,
as we remember before you the thousands who have died,
surround us and all who mourn with your strong compassion.
Be gentle with us in our grief,
protect us from despair,
and give us grace to persevere
and face the future with hope
in Jesus Christ our risen Lord.
Amen

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.

 




The Church of England Diocese of Manchester,
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