The Church Of England resumed service on Monday 15th June, although restricted, this is the progress families and the government has been urging the CofE to consider for weeks, as non essential businesses open and the pandemic begins to loosen its grip on the UK. Although, churches will now hold funerals this does not mean that they will accommodate or resume ‘normal practice’ and won’t be expected to in the near future. There are restrictions still in place to adhere with safety guidelines, but the progress itself has been a relief for many families across the UK.
The welcomed announcement follows the government’s decision to allow places of worship to reopen for individual prayer from Monday, although communal worship will not be permitted until the beginning at the earliest.
Churches will of course, encourage social distancing and limiting numbers of attendees will be strongly advise as the government still prioritise the efforts to help the COVID 19 death rates decline and ultimately stopping the spread completely.
Hymns and singing “are not advised” and the use of communal bibles or other books should be avoided. Wakes and celebrations of life should be avoided and only taken place in accordance with the developing guidelines set out by the government.
A C of E statement said that the move was in line with guidance from Public Health England, and guidelines have been set out for all churches to follow, something that is likely to continuously develop over the coming weeks and months ahead.
The Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Sarah Mullally, who chairs the Church of England’s Recovery Group, said:
“There are now least some signs of hope of an improvement with a fall both in the number of new infections and the death rate, but there will still, sadly, have to be significant limitations on how we mark funerals for some time to come.
“Nevertheless, the House of Bishops has agreed that, in light of the changing circumstances, it is time to review our advice so that it will soon be possible for funeral services to be conducted inside church buildings following Government guidelines.
“At the same time we are actively planning for a wider phased reopening of places of worship when it is safe and practical to do so and look forward to the time when we can meet and worship together again in out buildings which mean so much to so many.”
If you need more information or looking for advice on how Thomas Brothers can help with the arrangement and organisation of funerals during this difficult time, we are here to help and welcoming families to contact us with any concerns or questions.