The College of Bishops and its Advisory Group today issue guidance to the Scottish Episcopal Church on how to prepare for further easing of lockdown restrictions as we approach Phase 3 of the Scottish Government route map through and out of the coronavirus crisis.
Five documents are being made available today:
- Introduction to Phase 3 from College of Bishops
- Phase 3 Guidance
- Phase 3 Plan (pro forma Word document)
- Pastoral Advice from College of Bishops for Phase 3
- Data Protection, Privacy Notice & Consent Form (Word Document)
The documents can be accessed by clicking on the links above. Three of the documents are in PDF format, and the Pro forma document and the Privacy Notice are in Word format. Please note that when clicking on the link above to the Word document, the file will download to your device.
All of the items of documentation relate to Phase 3 of the Scottish Government Route Map and are produced to enable churches to prepare for Phase 3. Please note that we are not yet in Phase 3 and cannot yet restart the activities permitted in Phase 3 until the Scottish Government confirms dates for this to take place, but the SEC guidance allows churches to prepare for that moment.
Indicative dates when Phase 3 relaxations may occur were released on 24 June 2020, and places of worship are unlikely to be able to open for communal worship before 23 July.
A further announcement confirming dates for Phase 3 guidelines is expected to be made by the Scottish Government on Thursday 9 July. If Scottish Government guidance then requires the SEC guidance to be updated, the SEC documents will be revised accordingly and any update will be highlighted via our usual channels of e-mail, website and social media.
The College of Bishops also asks that those who are shielding are not forgotten while others prepare for the easing of lockdown. Shielding continues until 31 July, and currently places greater restrictions on those in that category than the rest of the population.
The Bishops ask us to pray and support those who are still shielding, saying:
“As the Church works its way through the plans to reopen our churches, please pray for those clergy and others who are shielding and who continue to be isolated at this time.
“The clergy who are shielding continue to pray for and work for those they serve but may be feeling even more alone and possibly pressured at this time.
“Please remember them, be kind to them and pray that soon they too will be free to join us in church.”