The Diocese of Down and Dromore has issued clergy and select vestries with guidance on returning to ‘In–Church Worship’.
This guidance mirrors the central ‘Return to In–Church Worship Protocols’ from the Church of Ireland with some adaptations in the light of local needs and the current situation in NI.
Places of worship have been closed in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland for several months due to the Covid–19 pandemic. They are not yet permitted to reopen for worship, but the guidance has been issued to assist with planning for that eventuality.
In a joint introduction to the central church document, The Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Revd John McDowell, and the Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson, write: “Reopening churches for public worship is only possible if it can be done safely and by minimising the risk of spreading Covid–19. We strongly commend the implementation of these protocols.”
The central protocols have been prepared by representatives from the House of Bishops, the Representative Body Executive Committee, the staff of the Representative Church Body, the Church’s central trustee body and adapted for our diocese.
At all times, churches must comply fully with all relevant current legislation in their respective jurisdiction, and follow the advice of health authorities, particularly in relation to social distancing, hand hygiene, and respiratory hygiene.
The full original document introduced by the Archbishops of Armagh and Dublin can be found in the Parish Resources section of the Church of Ireland website here.