Church Commissioners’ Written Answer: Reopening Churches

On 9th June 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered a written question on the reopening of churches, from Dr Luke Evans MP.

Dr Luke Evans (Bosworth): 53638 To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps he is taking to ensure that places of worship can open for (a) private prayer and (b) active worship in compliance with social distancing measures as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are lifted.

Andrew Selous: The Government has announced that from the 15th June Church of England places of worship may be opened for individual prayer, alongside those of other faiths.

The Church of England has been developing advice, following information from Public Health England and other bodies, to enable its churches to be opened safely, and has been communicating that to dioceses for planning purposes. Not all buildings will be able to open for individual prayer on the 15th June, and bishops will be discussing with local clergy the needs of each parish. We expect a phased reopening that takes into account local circumstances and the available resources to enable it to be done safely.

The House of Bishops will be issuing revised advice once the Government has published its own guidance, further to the statement made by Lord Greenhalgh on Saturday 6th June.