Covid-19 Guidance

29 May 2020 

For latest guidance from NHS Scotland and Government check NHS Inform https://www.nhsinform.scot/ 

The Board of Trustees offers the following advice and guidance congregations: 

 

Sunday services & mid-week activities 

All Sunday services and mid-week activities including prayer meetings, home groups, youth groups and the like are suspended, unless the services or activities can be sustained using audio visual technology (and whilst adhering to latest stay at home and social distancing advice). 

Places of worship for services are now closed. Exceptions: 

  • A minister of religion, to go to their place of worship, including to broadcast an act of worship to people outside the place of worship, whether over the internet or otherwise. 

  • For the purpose of hosting essential voluntary or public service, such as food banks, homeless services, and blood donation sessions. 

 

Funerals 

It is advised that all meetings with the bereaved (aside from the funeral itself) be held by telephone or video, rather than face-to-face. 

Funerals should be held either at the graveside, crematorium or funeral home, and must be restricted to immediate family (with provision for a carer, if required, or a friend,  if no family members are attending). Those in attendance should follow latest public health advice on social distancing and good hygiene. People aged 70 or over, or who have underlying health conditions, and pregnant women, should all be strongly discouraged from attending.  

Ministers should also consult with funeral directors, crematoria staff etc. as appropriate for latest guidance affecting funeral activities locally. For the avoidance of doubt, ministers should follow Free Church guidelines even if more stringent than those of other organisations.   

 

Pastoral visits 

The regulations allow one household to meet up (outdoors only, including in gardens) with one other household per day, in groups no larger than 8, but with physical distancing required. This allows for a degree of pastoral engagement and fellowship, but we emphasise the need for no physical contact, physical distancing of at least 2 metres, and always outdoors.

 

Weddings 

Weddings have been stopped by the Government. 

 

Other Advice 

Additional advice notes, templates and forms:

 

 

Note: Zoom advice is provided as an example, there are many video meeting alternatives that may meet your congregational needs better e.g. Webex, Skype, Google Meet and jitsi. The same principles outlined in the Zoom advice note should be considered.