Health and Safety

Keeping you Safe During the Covid Pandemic

As we re-open our buildings for public worship and private prayer, we are taking every step we can to ensure that we mitigate the risks.

People who are at extra risk and the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ should be advised that there is an increased risk of attending public worship, but the decision to attend is yours.  We will ensure that the ’normal’ risks of infection are mitigated as far as possible within government guidelines.

Each place of worship is required, under government guidance, to complete and publish a Risk Assessment prior to opening to the public.  Those risk assessments will be published here as they become available and as they are updated.

Follow this link to see a pdf of the Test and Trace Privacy Document.

A Summary of the Safety Procedures in Place across our Churches.

  • Each Church will remain locked when not in use and only the following people will have access:
    • The Clergy for private prayer
    • Churchwardens for maintenance of records
    • The Rector to record services for streaming
    • The organist to play and maintain the organ
    • One nominated person for general building maintenance and inspection
  • Each Church contains a supply of PPE – non-latex vinyl gloves, surgical masks (for use by the clergy at Holy Communion) and alcohol-based hand sanitiser (min. 60%) in a dispenser. It is advisable for each church also to have a visor and disposable gown available in case close attendance is required (e.g. someone in need of close personal assistance).
  • A minimum of 72 hours should be allowed between events in Church. Where this is not possible, specific areas of the church should be set aside for different uses.  Where this is not possible, a deep (professional) clean of the entire building will be required to allow the church to be used by successful groups within the 72 hour period.
  • Wearing of facemasks is now mandatory, unless you possess an exemption certificate.  Ministers leading worship will wear face visors to assist lip reading, but will wear a face mask to distribute communion.
  • Strict ‘social distancing’ (2m) rule applies on Church premises.
  • When attending Church we ask everyone:
    • to refrain from entering if they, or anyone in their household, are feeling unwell or have experienced any COVID-19 symptoms in the past seven days
    • on entering, to give their name and contact details for Test & Trace purposes.  The terms on which we hold that data can be viewed in our GDPR statement on this page.
    • to apply hand sanitiser on entering the building.
    • to go straight to their seats, where they will find what they need to follow the service.
    • to remain in their places and maintain 2m distancing at all times.
  • A dispenser of alcohol-based hand sanitiser (min. 60%) will be placed at the door for use by anyone entering along with a notice asking everyone to apply sanitiser on entering.
  • Pews are clearly demarcated to allow 2 metres between permitted seating areas. Seating areas can accommodate singleton, family or ‘bubble’ units.  This will limit the capacity of our churches and it will not be possible to exceed maximum capacity.
  • Where possible the Church door will remain open during worship.
  • Face coverings will be worn when in Church, subject to the following:
    • Ministers leading worship will not be required to wear face coverings to lead worship and preside.  They will, however, wear a face covering before and after the service and when distributing communion.
    • Readers and intercessors may remove face coverings when reading/praying, provided that additional distancing is possible.  They will, however, wear a face covering when seated in the congregation.
  • If congregation members are to participate in the service (e.g. readings, intercessions), the Lectern should be taken out of use. In most cases, this can be done by placing the microphone on a stand somewhere else at the front of church, socially distanced from anyone else.  Any common Bible should not be used.  Instead, readers should read lessons from their own bibles or their own copies of the Pewsheets and advised not to touch the microphone (even to adjust its height).
  • Regular Service cards or books can be used by the congregation, as normal, provided that a minimum of 72 hours has elapsed since they were last used. Non-laminated versions will be issued for use during the pandemic as these carry a lower risk.
  • Disposable Pewsheets will be produced with Health and Safety information, together with any readings, psalms and canticles for use during worship.
  • The collection plate will be placed at the back of church for offerings. It will not be passed round the congregation or presented at the altar.
  • Toilet facilities (where available) may be provided during worship for emergency purposes The toilet door will remain open for ventilation when not in use.
  • Children attending will be under parental supervision. Parents will be responsible for ensuring that their children observe 2-metre distancing, particularly with vulnerable adults.  All common-use toys and books will be taken out of use.  No group activities will be provided.  Children may bring their own toys, books or activities.
  • Food Bank collection points will be taken out of use. A notice explaining how to give to the Food Bank should be displayed instead (see
  • No singing is permitted and no church hymn books will be issued to the congregation.
  • Each service should be attended by at least two volunteer helpers, as follows:
    • One person on the door to take names and contact details for Track and Trace purposes
    • The nominated Sidesperson, who will show people to their seats. This person will wear vinyl gloves and a facemask.  He/she will carry a supply of additional service cards and pewsheets to be handed out.
  • If any person attending exhibits symptoms consistent with Covid-19, or discloses that a person in their household has symptoms, the service should not proceed. Everyone attending, who has been in contact with the person should be advised to contact NHS 111.
  • Any person developing symptoms within 48 hours of attending Church should immediately contact NHS 111 to initiate Test & Trace and inform the Rector that they have done so.


  • Holy Communion

When worship includes the celebration of Holy Communion, the following additional precautions will be in place:

  • Communion will be administered in bread form only, though both elements will be consecrated. Only the presiding priest will consume the consecrated wine.
  • The people’s wafers/bread will remain covered during consecration. Only the elements to be consumed by the presiding priest will be uncovered.  Any priest’s wafer should be consumed only by the presiding priest.
  • The presiding priest will wear a facemask to distribute the elements. Each church should maintain a supply of surgical masks for this purpose.
  • The presiding priest will wear latex-free vinyl gloves to handle the elements and to distribute the consecrated host. He/she will either consume the elements at the end of distribution or before applying gloves and mask.
  • Communion will be distributed to communicants in their pews. In line with government guidance, the presiding priest will be allowed to break the 2-metre distancing rule for these purposes: (1) only so far as necessary to distribute Communion; (2) for as brief a time as possible; and (3) wearing appropriate PPE (a facemask and vinyl gloves).
  • Communion will be distributed by dropping into the recipients’ hands only, avoiding contact with the skin.
  • Individual blessings will not be administered.
  • After distribution, the presiding priest will remove the vinyl gloves and sanitise before consuming the remaining host.

Conduct of Worship

  • Before the service
    • All door knobs, switches, handrails and other items likely to be touched by the public should be disinfected by wiping with a cloth freshly soaked in coronavirus-effective disinfectant or dilute household bleach (a few drops in 1/2 a cup of water) contained within a small freezer (or doggy) bag (NB bleach is not recommended for historic wooden surfaces).
    • If not already dealt with, last week’s collection should be counted, entered into the service book and placed in a sealed container for banking (a further 72 hours should elapse before anyone else touches it).
    • Service cards/books and pewsheets will be placed in the pews at the places marked for seating using vinyl gloves. At no point should they be touched by anyone apart from the congregation member using them.
    • The Microphone should be placed away from the lectern and at a safe distance from any congregation or service leaders. It should then be wiped with disinfectant/bleach.
    • The nominated sidesperson will show people to their seats and supply any extra copies of service cards/books and pewsheets.
    • The collection plate may be placed at the back of church to receive the people’s offerings and wiped with disinfectant/bleach.
    • As people enter, their names and contact number (or email) should be taken for Test & Trace purposes. The Data Protection Statement should be on display somewhere by the entrance to Church.
    • If any person attending exhibits symptoms consistent with Covid-19, or discloses that a person in their household has symptoms, the service should not proceed. Everyone attending, who has been in contact with the person should be advised to contact NHS 111.
  • During the Service:
    • The congregation should remain seated at all times.
    • Church door to be kept open during service, if possible.
    • Responses should be spoken at normal speaking volume, without raised voices or shouting.
    • Music may be played electronically, or on the organ or other (non-wind) instrument, but not so loud as to cause people to raise their voices above normal speaking level.
    • No congregational singing is permitted.
    • Readers and intercessors should wait until previous readers have returned to their seats before approaching the microphone (see guidance above).
    • Separate guidance for Holy Communion appears below.
  • At the end of the Service:
    • The congregation should be asked to deposit the Service Cards/Books in a box at the back of church (which should be clearly visible and accessible). The box should then be sealed and left for 72 hours minimum.  Sidespersons should avoid handling the cards/books, but if that is necessary, it is recommended that they wear vinyl gloves.
    • The congregation will be asked to take their pewsheets home to dispose of themselves. If any are left in pews, it is recommended that they are left for at least 72 hours before handling for disposal.
    • The collection should be placed in the safe (without handling) and left for at least 72 hours. It should then be counted and entered into the service register before banking.  This can be done on the following Sunday before the service begins.  Parish Treasurers should be informed of this arrangement.
    • Any person developing symptoms within 48 hours of attending Church should immediately contact NHS 111 to initiate Test & Trace and inform the Rector that they have done so.
    • The Church should be locked for at least 72 hours before next use.


Funerals, Weddings and Baptisms

The Church will be made available for these offices by arrangement with the Rector and Churchwardens.

Where such a service takes place midweek, 72 hours should be left clear from any Sunday service.

All such services will be restricted to close family members and any persons required to be present for legal reasons.

Risk Assessments

Below are listed links to pdfs of the Parish’s Risk assessments.

Stewart Fyfe


6 August 2020