7 Mar 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Updates


This article includes updates and links from the Church of England, Diocese in Europe, and other official sources.   

Information will be added on a rolling basis.

Church of England guidance to churches:

The Church of England published updated guidance on 10 March to all clergy and congregations here:

*NEW* (addition of FAQ section - updated 10 Mar 17:40 GMT)

*NEW* (Update - 10 March 17:40 GMT - Archbishops' letter to clergy)

Diocese in Europe guidance:

On 6 March, our Bishops wrote to all our clergy and churchwardens and Bishop Robert and the Diocesan Secretary/Chief Operating Officer, Andrew Caspari, have also written to our Archdeacons. 

All members of the Diocese will wish to be aware of key points in these communications:

1.      We have to obey local regulations and recommendations as regards gatherings and church services.  This has meant some of our chaplaincies in Italy have been unable to hold services.  

However, in these circumstances we encourage congregations to stay in touch with each other, to look out for older and vulnerable parishioners and to find imaginative ways of sustaining worship. (See, for example, the ‘Virtual Eucharist in Genoa’, which has been reported also in this week’s Church Times).

2.      It has been recommended that the Peace be shared without handshakes in our chaplaincies at present.

3.      The Eucharist will be taken in one form only (The Bread or Wafer).  The Common Cup will not be shared.

4.      The Stoup (for Holy Water) will not be used in our chaplaincies

5.      Stewards and greeters are encouraged not to shake hands.

6.      We are constantly reviewing plans for larger Diocesan gatherings such as Archdeaconry Synods, Chrism Masses and other events, and taking careful decisions on a case-by-case basis.



A Guide to hand-rub and hand-wash technique  (Belgian Federal Public Health Service). 

Chaplaincies may wish to display this poster. 

Hand rub & Hand wash technique - A guide


Below are links to latest information and advice provided by national governments, World Health Organisation, and EU.  

Please note the Diocese in Europe is not responsible for the content of external websites.

UK Government:

World Health Organisation (WHO):

-          WHO Regional Office (Europe) This includes links to Health Ministries across national administrations in the WHO Regional Office (Europe) area.

-          WHO Regional Office (Eastern Mediterranean) – which covers Morocco:

European Union (EU):

-          European Commission:

-          European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control:


Photo: With thanks to Allie Smith on Unsplash

Published: 7 Mar 2020

Updated: 9 Mar 2020