Clergy who wish to re-enter their buildings for private prayer or streaming of services will be able to do so from May 11th. This follows a plan issued by the House of Bishops on a phased return to using buildings when the time is right.
Clergy will need to follow national guidelines and public worship remains prohibited and only the clergy can re-enter at this time.
Bishop Paul has written to clergy in the Diocese of Liverpool to permit the clergy to re-enter their own church buildings for activities such as streaming of services or private prayer.
Clergy will need to carefully observe the practical advice given by the Church of England.
Phase one of the new guidance allows"...very limited access to church buildings for activities such as streaming of services or private prayer by clergy in their own parishes, so long as the necessary hygiene and social distancing precautions are taken."
However, at the present time, church buildings remain closed to the general public in line with government requirements.
If clergy decide to re-enter their building they are expected to consult with your ministerial colleagues and churchwardens, discussing the advice document with them.
Bishop Paul said "I strongly re-emphasise what I said in yesterday's update - whether or not you choose to implement this guidance depends on your own circumstances, and there should be no pressure of expectation on anyone if they are not able or willing to do so for any reason (for example if you or a member of your household is shielding or self-isolating, or if there are particular practical problems with reaching or entering your building).
The rule of thumb must always be: if in any doubt, take the option that enables you and others to stay safe