Masks to be worn in church

Government advice advice about face coverings in churches has changed:

“We strongly advise that face coverings should be worn by all those attending a place of worship, including ministers, worshippers, staff, volunteers, contractors and visitors, where there may be other people present; remembering that they are mainly intended to protect other people, not the wearer, from coronavirus COVID-19 and that they are not a replacement for physical distancing and regular hand washing.”

For non-eucharistic services, this should be straightforward.  For Communion services, the advice includes:

“We strongly advise that face coverings should be worn by all those attending a place of worship where there may be other people present. This includes not only members of the congregation but also the president and any other ministers. Face coverings should only be removed to receive Holy Communion.”


“Each communicant should also be encouraged to sanitise their hands before and after removing their face covering to receive the bread, and before and after putting it on again.” 

However, I feel that it is undesirable for face coverings to be removed and left on a pew, and even more undesirable for someone to approach the altar with a face coverings half off the face.  I therefore suggest that people sanitise, then receive the communion wafer with mask on, return to their place in a pew, consume the wafer, then sanitise again.  Because of having to sanitise again, it would be very helpful if people could bring their own little bottle of sanitiser for personal use. I appreciate this will feel difficult.

I will, of course, let you know as soon as there are any changes to this guidance.