All the latest advice from the Methodist Church can be found on their website. We will list below the latest and current information for ease of access.Go to our PROPERTY page for specific advice on buildings and COVID-19
Coronavirus Guidance for Property
Update 9 December 2021 - Changes to Government Guidance
Following the announcement by the Prime Minister on 8 December to move to Plan B measures (ENGLAND ONLY) to combat the spread of the Omicron variant, a number of restrictions will affect those worshipping, using or working within Methodist church property settings. We will continue to monitor Government guidance and provide updates or further details as they become available:
What are the main considerations for using our buildings following Government Plan B guidance?
1. Is it a legal requirement to wear face coverings in a Place of Worship?
YES - All those using a place of worship or ancillary buildings have to wear a face covering by law from Friday 10 December 2021. The Government guidance also outlines situations where individuals may be exempt. This is outlined here - Face coverings: when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). There are reasonable exemptions from this, while someone is leading worship or giving a reading for example. For specific guidance on singing see below.
- Can we still use our church buildings?
YES - there are currently no restrictions on continuing to use our church buildings. Although the Government is now advising office workers to work from home if they can from Monday 13 December. Churches should therefore consider how this advice affects those who work or use the church building and if temporary adjustments can be made during this period. For further information refer to - Coronavirus: how to stay safe and help prevent the spread - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
- Do we need to ask building users for a NHS Covid Pass?
NO – places of worship and ancillary buildings will not be required to ask for evidence from building users, see Coronavirus: how to stay safe and help prevent the spread - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) under the heading Required use of the NHS COVID Pass. This includes activities such as communal worship, and ceremonies to mark life events such as weddings and funerals. Note: activities which take place after these events in the building such as wedding receptions, will only need to request a NHS Covid Pass if there are 500 or more attending indoors.
YES – the current Government changes have not advised against singing. In relation to face coverings whilst singing, the current Government guidance states the following:
“There is a reasonable excuse for someone to remove a face covering when it is reasonably necessary for them to sing, for example, if they are singing as part of a choir, or during a service, rehearsal or for a performance.