Coronavirus: Diocesan Guidance & Updates


In current circumstances on Coronavirus, we’re re-shaping our Diocesan website coverage.

This news page will give you the latest Diocesan Guidance & Updates including Diocesan wide services, events and communications.

In addition, you will find advice, support, and resources published covering:

  • Prayer and reflection
  • Public health advice
  • Going Digital

Latest update: 30 April 2020 



Guidance & Updates

Everyone in the Diocese will wish to be aware of three important updates this week:

- Practical Guidance once lockdown is eased and church buildings can be used for public worship

Bishops Robert and David wrote to Clergy, Church Wardens and Readers in the Diocese on 29 April.  Their practical guidance covers how church buildings can be used for public worship where the Coronavirus lockdown is being eased.  Reopening will happen step by step and with considerable caution.
Specific points of guidance given apply only in those jurisdictions where gatherings for public worship are legally permitted.  The Bishops have emphasised that, in any country the advice of the national government is of paramount importance, and that Clergy and chaplaincy councils need to pay close attention to national/provincial regulations, as well as drawing on the advice of our church partners.    

The guidance makes it clear that public services should only be held if they adhere firmly to the principles of hygiene and physical distancing.  It also covers continuing guidance on the distribution of Holy Communion in one kind only.  It emphasises also the requirement for scrupulous cleaning of churches after each public use.


- Financial support to chaplaincies in need

The Diocese has agreed a substantial package of financial support to chaplaincies experiencing hardship as a result of Coronavirus as well as reductions in the Common Fund request made to every chaplaincy.   The hardship fund and the reductions in Common Fund requests make up a package of half a million pounds worth of COVID-19 related assistance taken from the Diocesan reserves. 

The Finance, Personnel and Audit Committee met on Wednesday 29th April and agreed distributions of hardship money in response to applications from 15 chaplaincies in particular urgent need.  There is more money in the hardship fund which is expected to be needed in the Summer and treasurers will be kept informed about this. 

Meanwhile, huge thanks are due to more than a dozen chaplaincies who have generously donated to the hardship fund from the full payments of common fund they had made prior to the reductions.  This spirit of mutual support is hugely encouraging across the Diocese at this challenging time for everyone.

On giving to the Diocese, you can access our Just Giving page for the Diocese here:

We have been looking at the current rubric of the site with Just Giving, and invite donors to indicate any giving intended for an individual chaplaincy to specify this where you can leave a comment.

We are also planning a Just Giving page pop up for visitors to our Diocesan website.


Thank you very much!


- Holding your Chaplaincy Council Meeting remotely

Many Chaplaincy Councils have been meeting using zoom or other video conferencing platforms.  Clearly members will chat online regularly, but it is essential that if these are formal meetings they should be run in accordance with chaplaincy constitutions and the relevant parts of the Church Representation Rules that would apply to the normal face to face meetings.  Particular care should be paid to ensuring that council members are technically equipped to participate if they wish. 

Matters that require a vote by the council should resolved by way of a vote taken by members in response to a written resolution that can be distributed by email. 

There is no provision for Chaplaincy Annual Meetings to be held ‘virtually’ at this time.  The deadline for such meetings to be held this year has been postponed until 31 October.

If you have any questions about these matters please get in touch with Andrew Caspari, the Chief Operating Officer or your Archdeacon.


Diocesan Corona Co-ordination Group

The Diocese has established a senior level Corona Co-ordination Group.  It comprises of our Bishops, Archdeacons, Chief Operating Officer/Diocesan Secretary, and Director of Communications. 

The Group continues to convene regularly to consider and review issues relating to the Coronavirus pandemic, and make decisions on its implications for the Diocese.


A video message from Diocesan staff:  Peace be with you

Diocesan office staff in London and Brussels have recorded a short video message for Easter.  Listen here at this link: Peace be with you


Church of England COVID-19 Guidance

The national Church continues to publish advice on its dedicated Coronavirus page:




Photo:  G-R Mottez on Unsplash