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Guidance on returning to in–church worship published

The Church of Ireland has published protocols for a return to in–church worship to provide guidance to parishes in relation to the reopening of places of worship that have been closed due to the Covid–19 pandemic. The document is available here (along with separate Word versions for appendices, posters and other publicity material) in the Parish Resources section of the Church of Ireland website.

In a joint introduction, Archbishop John McDowell and Archbishop Michael Jackson write: “Reopening churches for public worship is only possible if it can be done safely and by minimising the risk of spreading Covid–19. We strongly commend the implementation of these protocols.” A video and audio message from the Archbishops, launching and introducing the advice, is below.

Church of Ireland · Returning to in–church worship

Nine stages for reopening church buildings are set out, starting with communicating with workers and parishioners prior to opening on a specific date. The protocols have been prepared by representatives from the House of Bishops, the RB Executive Committee and Representative Church Body staff.

At all times, churches must comply fully with all relevant current legislation in their respective jurisdiction, and follow the advice of health authorities, particularly in relation to social distancing, hand hygiene, and respiratory hygiene.

For further information please contact:

Church of Ireland Press Office 
Church of Ireland House 
61–67 Donegall Street 
Belfast, BT1 2QH 

Tel: (028) 9082 8880 (from NI)
Tel: (048) 9082 8880 (from RoI)
Email: Press Office 

Peter Cheney

+44 (0)7774 295369

Janet Maxwell

+353 (0)87 948 4412