Church is Changing

On Tuesday, in light of the Government guidance around non-essential contact, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York issued advice that public worship is suspended until further notice. You can read the media statement here and the letter they have issued.

Bishop Paul said,
“The main thing is that God is faithful, that Jesus' love is inexhaustible, and that the work and mission of the Holy Spirit goes on in these strange new circumstances. I encourage all colleagues to sustain your own daily disciplines of prayer and Bible reading and to open yourselves to the creativity, hope and transforming power of the One who loves us. Please be sure that I, together with Bishop Bev and your Archdeacons, will be praying for you all as you do this.” 

Churches should stay open where possible but shouldn’t hold public worship services. Prayers can be said by clergy and ministers on behalf of everyone and churches should consider ways of sharing this with the wider community.

The Church of England website has guidance for churches regarding what churches can do now and you should check this site regularly as this unprecedented situation changes. Here’s a brief synopsis

  • Pause normal meetings for worship until further notice in line with Government advice as a measure to help protect the most vulnerable.

  • Consider keeping the church open as a place for prayer and contact, with appropriate signage to remind people to keep at least 2 metres apart.

  • Explore other means of sharing ministry including live streaming.

  • Encourage everyone to continue to maintain good hygiene practices* and

  • Keep at least 2 metres apart when attending necessary meetings. 

  • Provide hand gel at entrances and ensure there is a good supply of soap or hand gel in cloakrooms for hand washing. The best way of protecting us from the spread is for everyone to practise good hygiene.

  •  Display the public information poster about sneezing. 
  • Ensure good regular cleaning of surfaces people touch regularly, including door handles, light switches etc.

Pastoral visits

  • In circumstances where people are self-isolating because they are symptomatic or have been in contact with someone who has been symptomatic, no pastoral visits should be undertaken until their isolation ends. You can offer support by phone.

  • In circumstances where someone is self-isolating for their protection and a pastoral visit is thought to be necessary, please make sure you follow rigorous health and hygiene practices and keep at least 2 metres apart from each other.

*Please note that ‘washing hands’ always refers to washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using a hand-sanitiser with a minimum of 60% alcohol content. See NHS guidance and download a poster version to display.

You can read the full guidance here:

You will also find some guidance and advice from the Church of England, which the Diocese of Liverpool is following, about weddings, baptisms and funerals. However, as the situation is constantly changing and not all your questions may be answered immediately so we advise you to check the FAQ section regularly. Our Church of England colleagues are working hard, constantly gathering information and practice for us to share and the section is updated frequently. If you do have any questions, please send your queries by email to:

We'll collate the queries and try and gain feedback from our Church of England colleagues, where we can we'll publish the information on the Diocese of Liverpool website or post via our social media feeds. 

News & Events

Coronavirus help and support

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National advice

For national advice, digital resources and prayer and worship ideas

Contacting our staff

St James House staff are working remotely at the moment and to cut costs we are using the government's Job Retention Scheme. So we have less staff in work so please be patient.

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