Church buildings during Covid-19

Church buildings are closed to the public

Access to church buildings

Church buildings are closed for public worship, private prayer, and all other meetings and activities except for vital community services until further notice.

The Bishop of Lichfield wrote to all churches on 6 May outlining that clergy and ministers can now re-enter church buildings to perform certain roles.

The Cathedral and Church Buildings Division of the Church of England has published a guidance note called 'Access to church buildings during lockdown: advice for incumbents'. The guidance details the practical steps to help clergy return to their churches safely.

Guidance documents are also now available on the Church of England website including the latest advice on access for church buildings (including churchyards), a parish risk assessment for completeing ahead of entering buildings and advice on keeping church buildings clean (updated 27 May).

These follow guidance on using professional contractors and construction work (updated 20 May).

Please note that this guidance note will be updated ongoing and you should periodically check for the latest version in the 'Documents' section of the Church of England website.

We are aware this is a very difficult time and will prompt a number of further questions. Please see:

Caring for church buildings

The Cathedral and Church Buildings Division of the Church of England has published a separate guidance note called 'Securing and caring for your church buildings during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic: advice for incumbents, churchwardens and PCC members'. The guidance details the practical steps involved in closing (locking up and protecting) your church building.

Please note that this guidance note will be updated ongoing and you should periodically check for the latest version in the 'Documents' section of the Church of England website.

Ecclesiastical (Insurance) has also published guidance on managing and protecting temporarily closed churches and other church properties, which includes the top 5 priorities as well as additional links.

Public notices (for faculty applications)

The requirement under the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015 to display public notices at church buildings as part of faculty applications has currently been dispensed with by the Diocesan Chancellor (to be undertaken by alternative means).

Parishes at the public notice stage (following receipt of formal DAC advice) should undertake an amended process via the Online Faculty System, which is detailed in the 'Legal Advice in Light of the Coronavirus Pandemic FAQs' on the Diocesan Registry web pages of the diocesan website. Please see:

DAC site visits

Site visits to church buildings undertaken by DAC members and advisers are postponed and cannot currently occur due to restrictions on movement and gatherings under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020.


Page last updated: 27th May 2020 1:17 PM