Click here to access the latest Coronavirus Guidance from the Church of England

Keep well, keep praying, keep connected

We know there many issues that arise from national and government guidance, and that things are changing frequently in the UK  – be assured that we’re working on this and we’ll stay in touch with you. In all of this, we have three key aims: 

  • Keeping people well 
  • keeping people praying 
  • Keeping people connected

To avoid confusion - and because things are changing so frequently - we have removed most of our Coronavirus guidance from this website (with a few exceptions). Please make sure that you keep an eye on the Church of England website for all the latest guidance for churches and parishes relating to Coronavirus - and if you have specific queries you need help with, or you're in need of support, please speak with your Archdeacon in the first instance.

If you'd like to receive the latest updates from the Diocese on this issue, there's a special mailing list you can sign up to here (but, of course, we'll continue to highlight any key information in the weekly Briefing mailing). 

Update 2 November 2020

On Saturday 31 October, The Prime Minister announced that from Thursday 5 November 2020, England will be going into a national lockdown for a period of at least four weeks. The Government's guidance for places of worship during this period is as follows: 

Places of Worship will be closed, unless they are being used for:

  • Funerals
  • To broadcast acts of worship
  • Individual prayer
  • Formal childcare or where part of a school
  • Essential voluntary and public services, such as blood donation or food banks
  • Other exempted activities such as some support groups

Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people, and it is advised that only close friends and family attend. Linked ceremonial events such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 15 people in attendance. Anyone working is not included. Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.

Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies will not be permitted to take place except in exceptional circumstances.

Additionally, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, together with the Bishop of London, have written this letter to all Church of England clergy, which addresses some key issues and invites people to join in a month of prayer for our nation.

For other areas of guidance, please click the heading or questions below to jump straight to what you need:  

Can we still hold a Remembrance Sunday service?

NHS Track & Trace QR Codes

Diocesan staff & parish support

I'm worried and stressed - where can I get support? 

Prayer for those affected by the Coronavirus outbreak

COVID-19 - early outbreak management: Places of worship


Can we still hold a Remembrance Sunday service?

Yes, services outdoors are possible if they can be staged in a safe and legal way, which includes undertaking a risk assessment. Please see the Government’s guidance for Local Authorities on Remembrance Sunday for more details. Limited communal singing, involving the national anthem and one additional song, is permitted.

Please be aware there are likely to be many people unable to attend these services physically who would like participate or be offered the chance to remember at home, so additional resources online and in paper format are encouraged.

Communal worship in churches is not permitted at this time but the minister can incorporate Remembrance Sunday into their broadcast services from church buildings.

Read more about Remembering and Remembrance in 2020.

Resources are also available from our ‘Marking our Communities’ materials:

And from the Church Support Hub.

NHS Test and Trace App QR Codes

You may have heard that businesses are being urged to display unique QR codes that will enable visitors to their premises to log that visit using the new NHS Test and Trace app rather than filling in their details in the visitors log.

These QR code posters are available for churches from the website at

As producing the poster with a unique QR code is a comparatively simple way to support the NHS app and protect people, churches are strongly encouraged to download and display their poster in time for the app launch on 24 September.

(Please note that as not everyone has a smartphone to scan the code, written records of contact details will still need to be maintained for those who cannot use the NHS Test and Trace app.)

Diocesan Staff & Parish Support

In accordance with Government guidelines, our diocesan offices - Diocesan House and the Bishop's Office - will be closed to both staff and visitors from 5pm on Wednesday 4 November, for the full duration of the lockdown. The Diocesan staff team remains committed to supporting you as you our frontline workers during this national crisis - and (as long as they remain well) will continue to be available to you by phone and email, whether they do it from an office or their kitchen table. If you have any queries, please don't hesitate to call Diocesan House on 01227 459401 - we will continue to run a switchboard service from this number. 

I'm worried and stressed - where can I get support? 

During July and August, The Living Well is offering accompanied prayer time on Tuesdays and Fridays and self-guided individual retreats on Mondays and Thursdays. Booking is essential.  To book and for more information, please cpontact the team (details below). The team is also available for listening, prayer and support by phone and email so don't hesitate to contact us them if you need some help:

01304 842847

You can also email requests to their weekly prayer support team:

Prayer for those affected by Coronavirus

Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy.
Sustain and support the anxious,
be with those who care for the sick,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may find comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Find more prayer and worship resources here