From 19 July, the UK Government moved to step 4 of their Covid-19 recovery roadmap. From 7 August, the Welsh Government moved to Alert Level 0. In both cases the vast majority of the previous legal requirements have been removed. Any number of people may meet for any purpose both indoors and outdoors in either nation. The notable exception to this lifting of legal requirements is that in Wales face coverings are still mandatory in almost all public indoor places. This includes churches. Despite the lifting of legal restrictions, both Governments recommend continuing caution. Good ventilation, diligence in hygiene, wearing a face covering in enclosed and crowded spaces whether or not it is mandatory, and minimising the number, proximity and duration of social contacts with those we do not live with, are all noted as beneficial behaviours.
In the light of this, we recommend that it is both sensible and appropriate for churches to continue to take some measures to limit the spread of Covid-19. Churches have a responsibility to protect their staff, congregations, communities, and other users of their buildings. However, it is now down to each church to determine for itself what these measures should be.
Our main guidance documents have been updated with suggestions of questions that churches should now consider and recommendations of best practice.
The Coronavirus section of our website
will be maintained to help churches practically and spiritually during these changing times. We are acutely aware that the process for making decisions going forward has the potential to be divisive. In some respects it was easier when rules were more restrictive but at least definite. How we make decisions may prove to be as important to churches as the decisions themselves. We appeal to everyone involved to be kind to each other, to listen well, to appreciate the pressure leaders are under, and to compromise accordingly. This is a very vulnerable time for churches and we ask you to recall the exhortation in Ephesians 4 to 'be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace
The Baptist Union Specialist Teams have started a phased return to Baptist House
If you would like to speak to a member of the Specialist Teams, please call 01235 517700 and leave a message.
Alternatively please contact us by email.
For Churches' Ministerial Counselling Service queries, please click here