Link to https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2020-06/COVID%2019%20Advice%20on%20Individual%20Private%20Prayer%20v2_0.pdf
Towards Re-opening Church Buildings: Covid-19 Risk Assessment Checklist for Parish Churches
|Issue Date||Version Number||Issued by|
|22nd May 2020||1||The House of Bishops Covid-19 Recovery Group|
This document provides a template risk assessment, with links to the relevant advice notes. It relates to situations where there is limited access to church buildings the purposes of private prayer, livestreaming, construction, carrying out of contractual work, building maintenance and cleaning. This template relates exclusively to Covid-related risks, not general risks. If you would like more information about your responsibilities under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations then information and templates can be found on the HSE website.
A further version of this will be produced when small services such as weddings and funerals are allowed, then for private prayer, then for some form of public worship. At present no public access is permitted to church buildings under government guidance.
The Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, chair of the Church of England’s Recovery Group said: “We welcome the Government’s announcement today that church buildings can open up for supervised individual prayer from June 15. This is the start of the journey for church buildings to open up safely in line with Government advice and we look forward to their detailed guidance on enabling this first step to happen.
“Advice has already been circulated to all our dioceses to enable local churches to plan ahead for opening up for individual prayer. Our advice recognises that a particular local church may or may not be able to open at the same time as others and collaborative working between local churches is encouraged. A simple risk assessment template has been provided.
“Throughout this crisis churches have been serving their communities in a range of practical ways but this announcement recognises that the buildings themselves are important sacred spaces for people. We also remember all at this time who mourn the loss of a loved one who died during the crisis and recognise that this is a fragile time in the prevention of the spread of this virus.
“We look forward to when it is safe for our church buildings once again to become meeting places for worship, prayer and all they do to serve and bless their communities.”