Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance and Resources For Churches

Woman working on laptop

Last Updated 02/06/20

Please see below updates of important directives and guidance in this fast moving crisis. We trust that these new arrangements will be part of the support for all those serving Jesus Christ in church and society.

Your three key sources of up-to-date advice, guides and instructions:

For Government Updates click here

For NHS Updates click here

For National Church of England Updates click here

Latest Updates


UPDATED National CofE advice on COVID-19

Further detailed advice has now been published on the Church of England website about:

  • Pastoral visits
  • Updated advice for clergy on access
  • Keeping buildings clean
  • A parish risk assessment template 

1. Pastoral Care

In addition to the national advice, please note,

  1. that where someone requesting a visit may have COVID-19 but this has not been confirmed, the circumstances should be discussed with the relevant Archdeacon before any visit is undertaken.
  2. This also applies where another member of the household may be infected.

Now that up to 6 people may meet outside,

  1. clergy may wish to undertake pastoral visits in private gardens, ensuring they remain two metres away from anyone else at all times.
  2. The guidance note advises against going directly from one home to another when it is necessary to visit someone inside their house and clergy should note this when seeing people outside as well.

In addition:
Any lay people visiting on behalf of the church

  1. should only do so with the incumbent’s explicit consent for each visit
  2. must already be authorised to undertake home visits, with a DBS check and confidential declaration completed.

Home Communion may not be offered at present.

2. Please note that in Church of England Birmingham at present, access of any kind to church buildings is only possible for repairs, maintenance or construction work:

  1. with the approval of the relevant Archdeacon.
  2. subject to a COVID-19 safe working environment being achieved.  Where external contractors are on site, the PCC should obtain advice from their Principal Designer (Health & Safety consultant) to confirm that the contractor and site can achieve a safe working environment for the operatives on site; including a method statement (provided by or in agreement with the contractor) demonstrating how COVID-19 mitigation measures such as social distancing, hand cleansing, site and building cleaning and mitigating transmission risk, will be carried out.
  3. If no Principal Designer is in place for a particular project, please contact the Property Director Daniel Mayes [email protected]

3. The advice about keeping buildings clean is limited to when access to church buildings becomes less restricted, but gives useful information for our future planning. 

4. Where the PCC has tenants or regular hirers who work in their church halls, with the approval of the relevant Archdeacon such work may now be resumed and subject to a COVID-19 safe working environment being achieved. Approval will only be given for named employees or clients to use the building; there can be no public access unless the premises are being used for a Food Bank.

The Updated Guidance documents are found on the national CofE website, via the following links:

The Venerable Jenny Tomlinson, Archdeacon of Birmingham
The Venerable Simon Heathfield, Archdeacon of Aston


Church of England - churches guidance webpage

The National Church of England team have made a number of key updates to their online guidance pages, including advice about caring for church grounds, and guidance when using online platforms. All amends are endorsed by the Church of England Birmingham and the updated measures should be put into practice.

The CofE Guidance webpage can be accessed directly, please click here


Related links and documents

+ Government Financial Measures

+ The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

+ The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme FAQs

+ Finances: Loss of Incomes

+ National Lottery Heritage Fund: Emergency Coronavirus Response

+ Multilingual Hygiene & Prevention Posters

+ Easy-to-read Coronavirus Advice: for those with learning disabilities

Pathways for accessing support in Birmingham

+ Access to church buildings during lockdown: advice for incumbents

Property guidance on construction work resuming | 13 May 2020

A statement from Bishop David regarding the recent national CofE announcement about church building access  |  6 May 2020

A statement from Bishop David in regard to the continued national lockdown situation | 26 May 2020

Access to church buildings during lockdown: advice for incumbents | 26 May 2020

Keeping church buildings clean | 26 May 2020

Towards re-opening Church Buildings: COVID-19 Risk Assessment Checklist for Parish Churches | 26 May 2020

Access to church buildings during lockdown: general advice for incumbents, churchwardens and PCC members | 26 May 2020

Click here and here for details of organisations and offered funding support in relation to the COVID-19 Crisis

+ Response to questions regarding Gift Aid Small Donation Scheme

+ Letter to faith groups regarding the pressures placed upon faith communities as a result of social-distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic

Safeguarding: Engaging with children online

Statement from Bishop David re continued national lockdown situation - 26 May 2020