Coronavirus Guidance and Resources

This page contains key guidance and resources for churches, church-run groups and individuals.

What does the November lockdown mean for churches?

The Government has said England will begin a month-long lockdown on Thursday 5 November. Its guidance says church buildings can remain open for individual prayer, for funeral services and to broadcast acts of worship but not for public services or weddings. Other exemptions include:

  • Formal childcare setting or where the building is part of a school
  • Essential voluntary and public services, such as blood donation or food banks
  • Other exempted activities such as some support groups

Exeter Cathedral and a number of churches across Devon hold online church services throughout the week and you are very welcome to join them wherever you are! Find out how here.

The Church of England is expected to publish more detailed guidance in the next few days. See the latest Church of England Guidance here

We have created a poster for churches saying they are open for individual prayer. Download the poster here

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


Marking our Communities: Liturgical Resources

The resources below are designed to be used at different stages of lockdown.

Opening the doors: re-entering our church buildings has suggestions for when our church buildings are open for individual prayer and public worship.

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.


Posters for churches

The CofE has produced posters for churches who are reopening. These include instructions on using hand sanitiser, staying 2m apart and one way systems.

We have created a poster saying churches are open for individual prayer but closed for public worship:

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

Track and Trace posters with the NHS QR code are available here


Christmas

For lots of festive ideas and resources, head over to our Christmas section.


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


Advice about how to live stream 

For advice on how to live stream from your church, please visit our Live Streaming Webpage


Children and young people in your church

Watch this webinar on how churches can run children and youth work in a Covid-compliant way.

If you don’t feel ready to start offering this in 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.


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