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COVID 19 – CHURCH SERVICES

Attached is a  link  to the Church in Wales Website in relation to COVID 19.

 

https://www.churchinwales.org.uk/en/clergy-and-members/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance/

 

With effect from 17 March 2020 the information below relates to church services etc.  Please use the link for full details.

Public Worship and Gatherings

All church services and gatherings for public worship should no longer take place. This includes regular Sunday services and weekday services, as well as occasional offices (save as set out below). Study groups and other parochial events that gather people together should also no longer take place. We are awaiting further information from the government, which will help us all to measure and reflect upon the gravity and potential duration of this cessation. However, given the information we have available to us at present, the ceasing of public worship and gathering is the prudent course of action.

Vestry Meetings should not take place for the time being. Detailed guidance will follow as soon as possible.

Baptism

Baptism is the Church’s hope-filled sign and seal of new birth in Christ. It is vital that baptism continues to be offered to all. Given the guidance on cancellation of public worship, baptisms will no longer take place in the context of regular worship. Baptisms should take place in the presence of no more than ten people (the minister, the candidate and up to eight others including parents/guardians and godparents).

For infant baptism it is preferable that the candidate be held by their parent/guardian rather than the minister. Where available a baptismal shell should be used to pour water. Full immersion baptism should not be used.

Weddings

Unless the government changes the law, the common law right of parishioners and those with a qualifying connection to be married in a parish church remains. However, the date, time and other arrangements are, legally speaking, for the minister to determine. Weddings scheduled until 31 July 2020 should be postponed and any fees already paid refunded. Couples with a later wedding date should be free to cancel/rearrange without financial penalty.

If for pressing pastoral reasons a wedding must take place, it should be solemnized with a maximum of ten persons present (the couple, the minister, two witnesses and up to five others).

In the absence of a principal Sunday service, banns of marriage cannot be called. Any weddings which must go ahead (and for which Banns have not already been completed) would need to proceed by Common Licence.

Some couples (for example those with wedding insurance) may need a letter from the parish informing them that their wedding ‘as arranged’ cannot proceed at this time.

Funerals

Our guidance relating to the ceasing of public worship applies to funerals in church.

Clergy may continue to take a funeral service at the graveside (in accordance with their common law duty to bury the dead of their Parish) and at crematoria (adhering to such guidance as the crematorium authority may give).

Once the wider situation makes it safe so to do, the bereaved should be offered opportunities for remembering their loved ones in church at a future date.

Confirmation

We are postponing all confirmation services scheduled between now and 1 June 2020 across the province. Dates subsequent to that will remain under review and updates will be provided periodically.

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