Reopening Places of Worship
As of the 13th June, churches in England have been allowed to open for individual prayer and funeral services. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government recognises that there are significant mental-health benefits for people being able to pray in their place of worship which for some people, cannot be replicated by praying at home. This is brilliant news for churches across the UK, however, there are still strict rules in place to protect communities.
The Church of England’s recovery group has issued a risk-assessment template for churches who are ready to open for private prayer.
To prevent the spread of coronavirus in churches, different measures have been suggested including using one point of entry to the building, doors and windows opened to increase ventilation in the church, hand sanitisers located around the building, toilet facilities with adequate hand washing facilities and seating areas with 2m marks to maintain social distancing. It is also recommended that the building is regularly cleaned, before and after general use.
Recovering from Lockdown
Historic England have launched a second emergency grant fund, which is open to Grade I and under limited circumstances to Grade II buildings. The grant is to help “to fix urgent problems at locally-cherished historic buildings and sites, so that they can re-open as quickly as possible, subject to COVID-19 restrictions”, and is open to places of worship.
“The funding can be used to address problems such as damaged roofs, masonry and windows, to hire scaffolding to prevent structural collapse, or commission surveys necessary to inform urgent repairs.”
The maximum grant amount is £25,000, and the closing date for expressions of interest 28 June 2020. You can find further information on the Historic England website.
We’re here to help
As always, the JBKS team are here to help. As experienced Church Architects, we know the struggles that you may be faced with at this time, and we are ready to assist all churches in any way we can.
For more advice and guidance for your church on reopening during COVID-19, we recommend you visit the Church of England website. We hope that you and your church community remain safe and well as we return to life after lockdown. If we can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to get in touch.