Places of worship across England to reopen for private prayer from 15 June
Date published: 10 June 2020
Rochdale Parish Church of St Chad's
Places of worship across England will be permitted to reopen for private prayer from Monday 15 June.
New guidance will be published shortly to ensure the limited re-opening of places of worship can be done safely and in line with social distancing guidelines.
This will recommend the thorough cleaning of shared spaces, hand cleansing at entry and exit, and asking worshippers to bring their own items such as a prayer mat or religious text instead of sharing or using communal ones.
Individual prayer will be permitted from 15 June, but communally led prayer, worship or devotion such as services, evensong, informal prayer meetings, Mass, Jummah or Kirtan will not be possible at this stage.
Faith Minister Lord Greenhalgh said: “Religious communities have shown enormous resilience and sacrifice in celebrating significant spiritual moments like Easter, Passover, Ramadan, Eid and Vaisakhi at home during these extraordinary times.
“The government has determined that this is the right time to begin re-opening places of worship for individual prayer.
“It’s our hope that this is the first step in places of worship reopening fully, when the science supports it.”
Places of worship still have discretion over when they consider it safe to open and may decide to remain closed or reopen at a slower pace if they wish.
Under the existing regulations, funerals are allowed in places of worship where it is possible to do so safely. Other gatherings and services such as baptisms, weddings, supplementary schools, meetings and classes are not permitted.
Also places of worship may open for ministers of religion to film or record a service for broadcast, for the hosting of essential voluntary activities such as homeless services, for registered early years and childcare providers and for blood donation sessions. Buildings should also remain closed to tourists.
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