To all clergy in the Diocese of Southwark, copied to Lay Ministers, Parish Secretaries, Churchwardens, Deanery Lay Chairs and Deanery Secretaries
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We hope that you are keeping well and adapting to the change in weather which will undoubtedly bring us all new challenges in terms of how we adapt to dealing with the virus.
- Numbers at services
As you will know there have been some new announcements from the Government and we thought that it would be good to clarify what this means for services.
– Weddings are limited to 15 people and that number includes the priest. However, renewal of wedding vows is limited by the rule of six.
– Funerals are limited to 30 people and that number includes the priest.
– Baptisms are governed by the rule of six although in this instance the six does not include the priest.
If these services are part of the main service, then the numbers are not limited. Baptisms are particularly suitable as part of the main service.
It is important to pay close attention to the Church of England guidelines when preparing for these services as it is for our principal acts of worship.
- Remembrance and Christmas
– The Church of England Recovery Group, of which Bishop Christopher is a part, is working on guidelines concerning services of Remembrance and Christmas. The CTG will forward this advice when it is available.
Bishop Christopher has asked the Diocesan Liturgical Group to put together materials for Remembrance and Christmas taking into account that the services are likely to be affected by Coronavirus.
– In addition, the Children and Young People’s Team are also working on Christmas materials for our young people.
We will be in touch again as soon as we have more information from the Recovery Group and the Church of England.
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)