With confirmation from the Irish Government and the Northern Ireland Executive that churches may re-open for public worship from next Monday, June 29, the RCB has reminded parishes of its guidance on returning to in-church worship.
This guidance can be accessed in the following formats:
In an introduction to the document, first published earlier this month, the Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Rev John McDowell, and the Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Rev Dr Michael Jackson, stated: “Reopening churches for public worship is only possible if it can be done safely and by minimising the risk of spreading Covid-19.”
Other key points in the summary of the document are:
“The government roadmaps indicate the earliest point at which it is permissible for churches to reopen, but churches are under no obligation to open on that exact date (but should not open beforehand). Churches should only reopen when the incumbent and select vestry feel they can do so safely, even if that requires taking additional time.”
“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.”
“Anyone displaying symptoms of Covid-19, or who has reason to believe that they have been in contact with someone who has, should not attend church or volunteer in any capacity until they have received medical advice that it is safe to do so.”