Funerals, weddings and baptisms

18 March – Number 7

Dear colleagues,

  • Funerals, weddings and baptisms

Basic rules of social distancing

The rules on gatherings and social distancing need to be applied in our churches as everywhere.

People need to be able to sit 1.5 metres apart (except for households who can sit more closely unless they are internally isolating). The maximum number of people is as stipulated by the government (100 people indoors as at today) or the maximum number that can fit in the church at a safe distance but no more than the maximum stipulated by government.

Funerals can be held outside with due regard to the stipulation for those gatherings (500 people appropriately separated as at today).

Live streaming

A simple method of live streaming is available through Facebook. Parishes should consider this for pastoral/occasional ministries.

Catering

Parishes should not undertake catering.

Funerals

There will still be funerals and these can be held in church buildings but must comply with social distancing requirements and consider the items outlined below.

Careful regard must also be given to protecting elderly and vulnerable groups. This may mean you adjust to smaller numbers of people inside a church.

Weddings

There will still be weddings and these can be held in church buildings but must comply with social distancing requirements and consider the items outlined below.

Any wedding in a church would need to be on a very small scale.

Only five people need to be present at a marriage service: the couple and the clergyperson, plus two witnesses.

Baptisms

Private baptisms may still occur and these can be held in church buildings but must comply with social distancing requirements and consider the items outlined below.

Any baptsim in a church would need to be on a very small scale. Careful attention needs to be given to the needs of babies and very young children. Very small amounts of water should be used. There should be no immersion baptisms.

Private baptisms in urgent circumstances are always permitted.

+Peter