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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

by Michael Ford last modified 28 Mar, 2020 02:28 PM

The very latest we know of, as the outbreak develops and the Church responds.

Church is changing

The Archbishops and Bishops of the Church of England have urged everyone to follow the instructions given by the Prime Minister to stay in their homes in a national effort to limit the transmission of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

But they called on the Church to “continue to pray, to love, to care for the vulnerable”.
It follows the announcement by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson of sweeping restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.

It means all Church of England churches will close with immediate effect in line with the Government’s instructions. There will also be no Church weddings or baptisms.

Funerals at the graveside or in crematoriums can still take place, but only in line with the Prime minister’s Statement.

In a joint statement the bishops said: “In the light of the Government’s measures, announced by the Prime Minister this evening, we urge everyone to follow the instructions given.

“We will give a fuller statement of advice as soon as possible. Let us continue to pray, to love, to care for the vulnerable, and build our communities, even while separated.”

Churches are putting public worship on hold and are becoming a “different sort of church” in the coming months to face the challenge of coronavirus.

The Diocese of Salisbury is in regular communications with the National Church and local statutory authorities and as well as providing a link to the latest national information, we will be regularly updating ministers and church officers via Working Together In Brief.

The general government advice is still to wash hands regularly and self-isolate when guided to do so. Those who have self-isolated will not be offered home visits, but provision can be made for contact with your local clergy and lay ministers via the phone or the internet.

Your local church may also be able to offer other support, so do contact them.

Churches and clergy are trusted voices in our communities and we will continue to support those who are feeling anxious and affirm and the correct advice from the government.

Latest updates to national guidance:

Latest updates from the Diocese:

  • Latest statement from the Bishop of Salisbury here
  • The latest guidance documents are here

Latest updates from our county councils:

  • The latest Dorset Council information can be found here. Your link Archdeacon is Penny Sayer.
  • Wiltshire Council's main coronavirus page is here. Your link Archdeacon is Sue Groom.

If you have specific questions or concerns not covered in the guidance, please contact:


Other resources:


A prayer for all those affected by coronavirus

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