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Return to In–Church Worship Protocols for RoI and NI

The Church of Ireland return to in–church worship protocols have been prepared to provide guidance to parishes in relation to the reopening of places of worship that have been closed due to the COVID–19 pandemic. They are not intended to replace guidelines issued by statutory authorities in both jurisdictions and should always be interpreted in the light of official government and public health advice as it currently applies.

These protocols have been prepared by representatives from the House of Bishops, the RB Executive Committee and RCB staff. We are grateful to diocesan bishops from both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and staff who provided their resources which were used to prepare the current protocols.

A video on returning to in–church worship, featuring a joint message from the Archbishops of Armagh and Dublin, is available here.

Please click the download buttons below to download the protocols and its appendices and also a selection of posters for parish use, prepared by and shared with the permission of RPD: https://shop.rpd.ie

Parishes are also encouraged to consider using or sharing the public information resources provided by state public health authorities at the following links.

Public Health Agency (NI) – posters

Public Health Agency (NI) – videos

Health Service Executive (RI) – all publicity resources

Parishes should follow the 2–metre social distancing rule, which is recommended in current public health guidance in the Republic of Ireland and strongly advisable in Northern Ireland, for the assurance of all and to minimise the potential for the transmission of the virus.

Many parishes are continuing with online services alongside a return to services in church buildings. Guidance for online services and audiovisual content is available here.

The Church of Ireland, Roman Catholic Church, Presbyterian Church in Ireland, and Methodist Church in Ireland are recommending and encouraging the use of face coverings at all services of worship. Please click here for the joint statement from the leaders of the four main churches.