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Essential good practice guidelines


This area provides the latest information and advice for churches.

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'.
 
There is a range of resources below to help churches practically and spiritually during these uncertain times.
 

Good Practice Card
Coronavirus - essential advice for churches (updated 5 October 2021)
Links to all our guidance information More ...
About SpecialistTeams SupportS
Guideline Leaflet L18: Covid-19 Coronavirus Legal Issues (updated 5 October 2021)
Guidance from our Legal Team on various legal and regulatory issues More ...
957147
Coronavirus advice: Children’s, youth and families ministry (updated 10 October 2021)
The latest guidance for churches More ...
About SpecialistTeams Ministri
Coronavirus: Guidance on church worship (updated 1 October 2021)
Document re-written to reflect removal of legal requirement in England from 19 July and the completion of the move to Alert level 0 in Wales from 7 August More ...
About SpecialistTeams SupportS
Coronavirus: Guidance on re-opening Baptist church buildings (updated 12 August 2021)
Amendments to incorporate the move to Step 4 in England from 19 July 2021 and move to Alert Level 0 in Wales from 7 August 2021 More ...
About SpecialistTeams SupportS
Risk Assessment Template prior to re-opening church buildings (updated 29 July 2021)
Your key legal requirement prior to re-opening is to carry out a risk assessment More ...
About SpecialistTeams SupportS
Coronavirus: sample posters (10 July 2020)
Posters to download and print out to use around your church building, to help keep people safe More ...
About SpecialistTeams FAST
Sample Posters for Baptist Churches (9 September 2020)
Posters to download and print out to use around your church building, to help keep people safe More ...
About SpecialistTeams HR Safeg
Furlough grant levels change from beginning of July (28 June 2021)
A reminder that the employer contributions are changing for July, August and September More ...
About SpecialistTeams HR Safeg
Coronavirus – safeguarding considerations for Baptist churches (updated 15 April 2021)
The safeguarding considerations for churches as we start to see restrictions being relaxed More ...
About SpecialistTeams HR Safeg
Guideline Leaflet L08: Employment - updated 1 April 2021
All churches that employ staff (other than a Minister) need to read this leaflet More ...
About SpecialistTeams HR Safeg
Safeguarding: Volunteer Support Services (updated 5 March 2021)
Two updated guidance notes for churches offering volunteer support services to their local communities More ...
About Logo
Coronavirus: closing church buildings (5 January 2021)
Advising churches to close when we are (in England) legally permitted to worship is a strong, even controversial, line for the Specialist Teams to take. More ...
About SpecialistTeams HR Safeg
Update for churches as employers - 4 December 2020
New furlough scheme rules and removal of retention bonus More ...
CoronavirusTN
Finance letter to churches (18 May 2020)
We are all aware that we are in extremely unusual times and there is much uncertainty about the future. The closing of our church buildings has had a major impact on our life together and presented challenges to how we operate as a church. More ...
Preschool
Advice on pre-schools (15 May 2020)
Actions for educational and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening from 1 June 2020 More ...
About SpecialistTeams SupportS
Guidance for Independent Examination (14 May 2020)
The Charity Commission has published guidance on the independent examination of charity accounts during the pandemic More ...
CoronavirusTN
Advice for churches regarding the use of buildings (12 May 2020)
The Government has published guidance and a FAQs document to provide information on the Government’s roadmap for how and when the UK will adjust its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. More ...
About SpecialistTeams HR Safeg
Covid -19 testing for ministers and other church workers (4 May 2020)
Ministers and other church workers who are showing symptoms can now be tested for Covid-19 More ...
About SpecialistTeams SupportS
Pre-schools and Nurseries - 21 April 2020
A message from our Treasurer John Levick, for churches which run their own, or let their premises for, pre-school and nursery provision More ...
Counselling
Counselling Support (updated 11 May 2020)
Information for churches, ministers and their families about counselling which is available to them More ...
SupportServices LegalOpsTeam L
Empty buildings checklist (7 April 2020)
Information for churches which have their own building More ...
About SpecialistTeams HR Safeg
Update on DBS ID checks (reviewed 5 March 2021)
New alternatives to face-to-face document checking More ...
AnthonyCollins
Coronavirus - advice from Anthony Collins solicitors (updated 26 May 2020)
A briefing at this challenging time for churches who will be supporting members of their church and its community More ...
Coronavirus800
Guidance for foodbanks (24 March 2020)
We are aware that a number of our churches host foodbanks or other services for vulnerable people. More ...
SocialMediaGuide
Coronavirus – Using social media with young people (reviewed 5 March 2021)
The National Safeguarding Team have produced a new safeguarding guideline 'Using social media to engage and communicate with young people within the church'. More ...
CoronavirusTN
Coronavirus – financial response - delaying payments to HMRC (20 March 2020)
We have received information from our auditor at the Baptist Union regarding the potential to delay payments to HMRC to alleviate cashflow problems from the current unprecedented situations. More ...
CoronavirusTN
Coronavirus – further financial response - lettings (March 2020)
Following my letters last week giving some guidance on how to deal with you finances now we are not meeting in our church buildings it has become clear that we need to update our guidance particularly around Pre-Schools. More ...
CoronavirusTN
Coronavirus – financial response for churches (18 March 2020)
The following is a letter sent to all Baptists Together Churches by Baptist Union Treasurer John Levick More ...

 
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Links to all our guidance information
coronagoodpractice
Guidance from our Legal Team on various legal and regulatory issues
coronagoodpractice
The latest guidance for churches
coronagoodpractice
Document re-written to reflect removal of legal requirement in England from 19 July and the completion of the move to Alert level 0 in Wales from 7 August
coronagoodpractice
Amendments to incorporate the move to Step 4 in England from 19 July 2021 and move to Alert Level 0 in Wales from 7 August 2021
coronagoodpractice
Your key legal requirement prior to re-opening is to carry out a risk assessment
coronagoodpractice
     Coronavirus