Comprehensive Guidance (for Pandemic Protocols, see separate section)
These policy and guidance documents are being continually revised. They are currently in their 13th Edition (September 2019). All the policies are reviewed annually at the beginning of September.
Occasional, residual references to the “Deanery” and the “Dean” refer to inherited Church administrative structures and personnel, some of which may significantly change over the following months and years. Bearing in mind these factors it is vitally important to check this page regularly if you are relying on any information published here.
Coronavirus COVID-19 Government and Archdiocesan Protocols for Opening Churches Safely for the Public
This is the Instruction of H.E. Metropolitan Sliouan concerning churches opening for services from 4th July 2020
INLINE VERSION FROM THE ABOVE LINK
An Instruction to All Parishes from His Eminence, Metropolitan Silouan to all the Parishes
You are to observe the following:
1. Before opening to public worship you, along with the members of the parish council and any other body with responsibility for the parish, are to read the government guidance and confirm to me that you are strictly following the guidance. You may do this by emailing me and only then will I give your community a blessing to open: without this you do not have a blessing to serve the Liturgy in an open church nor any other divine service.
2. I have stated already, on 1st and 23rd June, how we are to give Communion: it is now clear, though, that this is not in accordance with the regulations from the UK Government. In our churches which open, therefore, Communion will not be given to the Faithful. I say this with a heavy heart and once the regulations change I will look to reverse this decision immediately so that the Faithful will, once again, be able to receive the Holy Gifts.
3. Directly after the priest receives Communion, he is to bless the people and say, “O God, save thy people and bless thine inheritance,” and continue the Liturgy as normal.
4. Antidoron may be given at the end of the service. Strict hygiene standards must be observed, and the piece of bread must be given by a person who has washed hands thoroughly, for at least 20 seconds, and wears gloves: the bread may be dropped into each person’s hand.
5. No other mysteries of the Church – certainly baptisms, but also chrismations, weddings and funerals – may be served without my direct blessing and guidance for each occasion.
6. Social distancing is to be maintained at 2 metres between families. This may be reduced to “1m+” only if mitigations are made. It is good practice, wherever possible, to have different routes for entry and exit. Hand sanitizer stations should be at the entrance and exit.
7. The Liturgy has no maximum number of people allowed to attend but may be limited by appropriate risk assessments. The maximum number of people who may be present for weddings and funerals is 30.
8. Neither icons nor the Cross should be kissed.
9. There should be no singing nor projecting of voices. Microphones and speakers should be used, where possible, and the priest and chanter should read in a speaking voice.
10. Where possible cash donations should be discouraged, if unavoidable, cash should be collected in one place and handled by one person only.
11. A register system of all those present needs to be created and administered strictly to facilitate the NHS Test and Trace service. These records need to be kept for at least 21 days.
12. The regulations allow for toilets to be open so long as appropriate hygiene standards are maintained: however, I recommend that all toilets are closed.
Addendum: Safety Protocols for the Opening of Toilets
Older Documentation Remaining in force when not updated above as follows:
Documents and Sources Governing Orthodox Faith and Life
ECCLESIOLOGY … Historical sources may be found here …