Coronavirus Guidance and Resources

This page contains key guidance and resources for churches, church-run groups and individuals about the Coronavirus (COVID19) outbreak and plans for the phased re-opening of church buildings. 

The Government has announced that from 4 July church buildings can re-open for services, with restrictions in place.

See the latest Church of England Guidance here

For more detailed guidance including information on weddings, funerals, baptisms and church meetings go to our Coronavirus FAQs page.


Key Resources

There are many different aspects your church may need help with whilst dealing with the coronavirus outbreak. Keep checking these pages as more resources are added and please send us your ideas and tips so we can share them.


Marking our Communities: Liturgical Resources

The resources below are designed to mark the different stages of the journey out of lockdown.

Opening the doors: re-entering our church buildings has suggestions for when our church buildings can open for individual prayer and, later on, when gatherings for public worship are once again permitted.

Prayers of Lament, Thanksgiving and Restoration has guidance on how we can support people over the weeks and months ahead, in whatever situation they find themselves.

When we meet again: remembering and memorials focuses on bereavement and the future opportunities for thanksgiving and remembering in differing ways and different contexts.


Resources to help churches mark the anniversary of the NHS

The NHS came into being on 5 July 1948. During the current pandemic, there has been immense support for the NHS and its front line workers. The Cof E have compiled these prayers, readings and intercessions for churches to use in their services.


Poster for your church front door

Churches are now allowed to open for private prayer. See the guidelines here

Is your church reopening for private prayer? Download the poster here

Help people to pause and pray by displaying a Prayer Stations Poster

Is your church remaining closed? Download the poster here

There are also posters with QR codes linking people to prayers. Download the QR Prayer Poster for the: Outside of your church or the Inside of your church


Websites and Social Media

Read our Online 10 Point Checklist to help your church be as accessible as possible during the current situation.

Please also make sure basic clergy contact information is easy to find, ideally on the home page.  How will someone who needs pastoral support or help arranging a funeral get in touch with you?

If you would like advice about your website or social media please contact our Communications Team. They will be pleased to help you.


Free Phone Line of Hymns, Reflections and Prayers

The line – which is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 – has been set up by the Church of England particularly with those unable to join online church services in mind. Read more


Can our church livestream?

If you have decided to have a go at live streaming or doing a video recording to replace your regular church service that is great news!

If you missed our webinar all about livestreaming, you can watch to it here

More information about live streaming and song licensing in churches can be found here

For a list of digital communication tools for church leaders, communications teams and church staff to refer to during the coronavirus outbreak see here

Christian Publishing and Outreach (CPO) has put together some great digital guidance for churches.

Click here for a live streaming hardware guide, listing kit requirements at various levels.

Here is a quick start guide to web streaming on YouTube.

Helpful guidance for joining services as an online guest is here

If you are thinking of investing in equipment such as a sound system, projector, loop system or live streaming equipment,  Church Sound Systems could help you. To see an example of a church who do livestreaming really well, see Rediscover Church.

Please also join our CofEDevon Comms & Digital Group on Facebook to share ideas and advice about how to effectively reach our communities during this time

If you would like a one-to-one digital workshop with a member of our Communications team please email here


Children and young people in your church

There are so many ways to engage with children, young people and families in their homes. We have complied a list of some of the best resources available. Find out more

Advice on how to set up video conferencing for the youth of your church is here.


Using phone conferencing to lead services (or have meetings) 

Online streaming of church services is great, but what about those who don’t use the internet, or who have poor connection? Phone conferencing is a brilliant alternative.

Read / hear about one rural mission community leading Sunday services in this way to 100+ now, including a whole ward at the RD&E! News article / radio interview here.

Another rural vicar has kindly put together very helpful instructions on how to set up and run phone conference services (or meetings). The facility is free to use, and generally also free for landline callers, though see details. Instructions here.


Reaching out to people in self-isolation

During this time there are likely to be people in your area who are self-isolating and who need assistance getting food or medicine, receiving phone contact, or even help with animals.

If able to do so, we encourage people to join an existing local group, or via the new NHS ‘volunteer army’; or to help set up a new group. Likewise, we encourage people who need to self-isolate to consider using a group, if it exists in your area, as one way to make self-isolation possible.  Being ‘mutual aid’, of course self-isolating people can also often volunteer to give phone or admin support. These are new and vital ways to love our neighbour!

Please learn more about Community Support here for  1) details of how to find groups that already exist – whether to request and/or receive support; and 2) resources about how to set up a new group if there isn’t already one near you. This page includes downloadable leaflets, process documents, health and safety requirements, and our safeguarding guidance which should be read before undertaking any new initiative.


Combating holiday hunger, poverty and supporting rural areas

Consider setting up a Family Fun Cooking Club in your area.

Give to your local food bank – find details of where your nearest one is, where and when to donate supplies (currently preferred) or money, here.

For information on helping farming and fishing communities click here


Giving and Fundraising

How can churches encourage giving and continue to raise funds? For advice on digital giving, online donations, applying for grants and fundraising ideas, click here.


Prayers to download

Church of England Coronavirus Prayer Book

Handwashing Lord’s Prayer (courtesy of Rev’d Andy Dodwell)

Main coronavirus prayer

For those who are in isolation

For those who are ill

For medical staff and researchers

Prayers to have by the phone (for clergy/readers)


Further resources

Further resources from the Church of England

10 Ways to Keep Your Church Healthy and Discipled During the Outbreak

Liturgy and Prayer Resources

Songs for difficult times (with copyright waived)


If you would like further communications advice please contact a member of the communications team

If you would like advice about church life please contact The Venerable Andrew Beane, Archdeacon of Exeter, 01392 425577 or email


“The LORD is good,
a strong refuge when trouble comes.
He is close to those who trust in him.”
Nahum 1:7

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