Coronavirus has resulted in many changes to our church life together. The following guidance was updated on 6th January.

Public Worship

Public worship is allowed to continue during lockdown 3, and there is a service of Holy Communion each week in a benefice church as well as online worship. Churches are open for private prayer and Shillingstone, Hammoon, Manston and Child Okeford churches are open Wednesdays and Sundays, 9am – 5pm every week. Please use the hand sanitiser available. Due to ongoing building works Okeford Fitzpaine church is shut.

Weddings, baptisms and funerals

Inevitably these services have been radically affected by the current Covid-19 outbreak. Weddings, baptisms and funerals mark important transition moments in people’s lives, and as such are public and open occasions. Culturally we gather as family, friends and community to support people in these times of joy and sadness. Things are different for now. Everyone attending a service must use the hand sanitiser on entering and leaving church, maintain social distancing and respect others’ safety. Face coverings are mandatory.

Weddings

In accordance with Government instructions only emergency Church weddings can be held.

Baptisms

We are still awaiting guidance from the National Church.

Funerals

Funerals can take place at a crematorium or at a graveside or in church. Please check with your funeral director how many guests are allowed. At church funerals, 30 guests are allowed.  The government advises that only immediate family and close friends should attend and those aged over 70 or those with underlying health conditions are strongly advised not to attend. The church recognises how hard this is for families to bear and will work with you to find the best ways in the days round the funeral to connect with family and friends. If you are organising the funeral of a loved one, we are acutely aware of what a difficult time this will be. We will do our best to explain any changes but please be assured we are here to support you and to ensure a Christian funeral and burial can still be the most fitting occasion possible.