To all clergy in the Diocese of Southwark, copied to Lay Ministers, Churchwardens and Deanery Lay Chairs
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We hope that those of you who have been on leave have had a good rest and are feeling refreshed. For those who are still awaiting a period of leave we hope that it will be restful when it comes.
We have a couple of updates for you all which we hope you will find encouraging and helpful.
- Singing in church
The Government has recently changed its advice on singing in the context of public worship. At present, congregations may not sing, but both amateur and professional choirs, including children, may now rehearse and also sing during services in churches. Officiants may also sing, for example during services of Choral Evensong. At present, there is no set number of singers allowed, but each venue or church should be undertaking a risk assessment that takes into account the space available to enable effective social distancing, as well as the appropriate use of space, and supervision of children. In addition, choirs must ensure that Track and Trace protocols are in place before restarting singing. The Royal School of Church Music has put together a helpful set of FAQs, together with some possible models for restarting choirs in different settings, available here.
2. Updated material from our Children and Young People’s Team
We attach some updated guidelines for work with children and young people in your parishes. This has also been sent out this morning to the CYP contacts in each parish. We hope that you will find this useful in thinking about your plans for September and beyond. This material can also be found on the Diocesan website at southwark.anglican.org/downloads/cypmm/cyp_getting_back_safely_august_2020.pdf
With our very best wishes to you all,
The Coronavirus Task Group
(Bishop Christopher, the Very Revd Andrew Nunn, the Venerable Alastair Cutting, Ruth Martin and the Revd Canon Wendy Robins)