Revised Guidance for Phase 2 of emerging from lockdown

June 19, 2020

In the light of the First Minister’s announcement on 18 June 2020 regarding entry into Phase 2 of the Scottish Government’s Route Map, some revisions have been made to the pastoral guidance from the College of Bishops  and the guidance regarding the reopening of church buildings from the Advisory Group issued last week (12 June). Version 2 of each of the above guidance is now available as follows:

  1. Pastoral Guidelines for Phase 2, Version 2
  2. Emerging from Lockdown: Phase 2 Guidance, Version 2

The alterations to the Bishops’ Pastoral Guidance are to remove any reference to undertaking pastoral visiting in homes. When the Route Map was originally published, it was envisaged that Phase 2 would allow two households to meet together in homes but, in fact, the announcement from the First Minister yesterday indicated that any such meeting must for the time being remain outdoors.

The guidance from the Advisory Group regarding the reopening of church buildings has been revised to indicate that weddings in Phase 2 cannot be undertaken in church buildings and can only take place outside (subject to minimal attendees). Section G of the original version of our Phase 2 guidance indicated that members of up to two households could meet in church to undertake live streaming or recording of worship for broadcast. Contrary to our expectation in last night’s direction, further investigation means that members of more than one household may meet in church to livestream worship or record worship for broadcast, provided 2m physical distancing is observed. There is no change to our Phase 2 guidance on funerals in church which are permitted subject to restricted numbers as set out in our guidance.

No change is being made at this time to the Pro forma Phase 2 Plan for Vestries and so Version 1 remains current.

The Advisory Group guidance regarding the reopening of churches for individual prayer takes effect from 22 June 2020. Outdoor weddings are permitted under Government guidance only from 29 June 2020 and the Advisory Group‘s revised guidance regarding live-streaming/broadcasting from churches also takes effect from 29 June (when a variety of non-office workplaces are permitted to re-open). Similarly, the provisions in Section G regarding maintenance, repairs and organ practice should be regarded as taking effect from 29 June.