Coronavirus update: Baptisms, weddings, and funerals

Coronavirus update: Baptisms, weddings, and funerals

St Mary’s Church has now re-opened and we are delighted that we can also welcome you for a baptism, wedding, or funeral. Please get in touch with the Vicar, Andrew McKearney, to book or discuss a wedding or funeral, or contact the Curate, Nikolaj Christensen, to discuss a baptism (christening). We are always happy to talk you through the options if that would help you work out what to do.

The main restrictions you may want to be aware of are:

  • Attendance is limited to 30, including the minister and anyone else such as a photographer or funeral director. We are working on putting a facility for live-streaming in place for anyone who is unable to attend; please ask if you would like this.
  • You must keep a record of the guests you have invited and their contact details, in case these are needed later for NHS Test and Trace purposes.
  • People deemed vulnerable to Covid-19 may not feel safe to attend, even though they are allowed to.
  • If someone becomes ill with symptoms of Covid-19 (‘a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell’) within two weeks before the service then they and their household would have to stay away, unless they have tested negative for Covid-19.
  • Social distancing must be followed. This means, for example: Seating is spread out across the church. At a baptism, godparents will not be able to stand by the font with you. At a wedding, the bride must walk down the aisle herself or with a member of her household or support bubble.
  • The organ may be played, but currently no communal singing is allowed.
  • All those attending a place of worship are asked to wear a face covering.

For a service at the crematorium, for interment of ashes or a burial in the churchyard or burial ground we are also delighted to assist, though similar restrictions are in place.

Restrictions like the above are likely to stay in place for the rest of this calendar year. If you were hoping to invite more guests to your baptism or wedding, you may wish to book a date in 2021 instead. Alternatively, we can offer a smaller ceremony now and a larger celebration next year, assuming the restrictions have been relaxed by then.

Similarly, for a funeral that takes place now, we can offer to have an additional celebration of your loved one’s life later when the guidance permits this.

For up to date guidance, you may wish to consult the Church of England’s national website and the Government’s website. The Church of England has also published advice especially for wedding couples.

Updated 27 July 2020 to include new guidance regarding face coverings.