Revised guidance for Phase 3 out of lockdown

July 14, 2020

In the light of the First Minister’s announcements on 9 and 14 July 2020 regarding entry into Phase 3 of the Scottish Government’s Route Map, revisions have been made to the guidance originally issued on 6 July 2020 by the Advisory Group of the Scottish Episcopal Church, and the pastoral guidance issued by the College of Bishops.

The main updates on previous guidance are:

Numbers permitted at worship in church buildings will be strictly limited to 50 people, with physical distancing remaining in place at 2m;

In order to assist in tracking and tracing, the Government strongly recommends the collection of contact details and time of attendance of those attending worship and guidelines are provided in Appendix 2 of the Advisory Group’s Phase 3 Guidance;

Restrictions on attendance at services and ceremonies for funerals and weddings will be eased, with a maximum of 20 people allowed to attend indoors, and with that number no longer limited to immediate family;

Associated gatherings – such as wakes and receptions – must continue to follow the limits on household gatherings and hospitality.

A slight modification has been made to the advice regarding singing, in order to reflect Government guidance. Limited singing by a single voice is permitted subject to the qualifications set out in the Advisory Group’s Phase 3 Guidance.

Version 2 of each of the Phase 3 Guidance and Pastoral Advice from College of Bishops for Phase 3 is now available as follows:

  1. Phase 3 Guidance, Version 2
  2. Pastoral Guidelines for Phase 3, Version 2

In addition, the Advisory Group has now provided a template document to assist with the Scottish Government recommendation that contact details of staff and worshippers should be collected for tracing purposes. It is available here:

No change is being made at this time to the substance of the Pro forma Phase 3 Plan for Vestries to use in seeking the Diocesan Bishop’s approval but the Plan has been updated to cross-refer to the revised Advisory Group Phase 3 Guidance being issued today and so a Version 2 has been produced and is available here:

Please note that when clicking on the two immediate links above, a Word document will download to your device.

The Advisory Group guidance regarding the reopening of churches for worship, and attendance at funerals and weddings, takes effect from tomorrow, 15 July 2020.