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Baptist Union Update

The Baptist Union have continued to update the essential guidance for churches.
Please continue to check any updates here.

Update Published on 26th March 2021

Guidance on church worship
Changes in Section 3 to allow in England from 28 March congregational singing outdoors; and from 29 March, blown instruments in worship, social interaction between sub-groups of six people, and weddings that are no longer restricted to exceptional circumstances; Change in Section 3 withdrawing permission for Bible study and prayer groups indoors on church premises in England; Change is Section 3 allowing outdoors children’s activities in both England and Wales.

Coronavirus: Guidance on re-opening Baptist church buildings
Updated to reflect changes to guidance on singing indoors and outdoors in England from 28 March and changes to social contact rules from 29 March. Updated section on Prayer Meetings and Bible Studies to reflect the listing of prayer or study groups in the examples of activities that are not permitted.

Update Published on 18th March 2021

Covid-19 Coronavirus Legal Issues
Rent Concessions in Commercial Leases
Advice for ministers – pastoral visiting
Changes to care home visit arrangements in both England and Wales; Addition of possibility of visiting someone outside or in a private garden in Wales.
Children’s, youth and families ministry
Addition to Section 3 to note that children’s groups may meet outdoors from 29 March in England; Update in Section 5 so that guidance on Messy Church reflects guidance on church worship in general.

Update Published on 11th March 2021

Covid-19 Coronavirus Legal Issues
Inspections, Repairs and Maintenance and Routine Maintenance of Grounds
Guidance on church worship
Replacement in Section 3 of incorrect version of the BUGB recommendation regarding churches meeting for worship; Change in Section 3 to guidance regarding weddings; Comment added to Section 11 about the future for congregational singing; New Section 12 added regarding Easter.
Advice for ministers – pastoral visiting
Wording amendments throughout to reflect changes since 8 March in England.
Children’s, youth and families ministry
Addition to Section 3 regarding conversations with UK Government about summer holiday clubs.
Further extension of furlough scheme
Safeguarding considerations for Baptist churches
Volunteer Support Services

Updated Statement from the Baptist Union (24th February 2021):

Following the Prime Ministers’ announcement on Monday, BU have now updated their Coronavirus statement regarding churches reopening:
At the beginning of the year, as Covid-19 cases rose significantly and we entered national lockdown, we recommended to our churches not to open their buildings for in-person meetings. In the light of the Welsh Government announcement on Friday 19 February and the UK Government announcement on Monday 22 February, which started the process of easing lockdown, we have concluded that it is now appropriate to withdraw this recommendation.
We encourage churches to consider their own plans for re-opening and take the decisions that are appropriate for their own local circumstances. Reflecting the still significant levels of cases and risk posed to the community, and given that the general ‘Stay at Home’ rule remains in place in England until 29 March and has no current end date in Wales, it is reasonable for churches to choose to stay closed at this stage. Equally we recognise this is a decision for the local church, and the value of churches meeting together will mean that you may choose to re-open for in-person worship.
As we have done throughout the pandemic, we will continue to update our specific guidance for Baptist churches on what needs to be done to reflect the developments in the law and government guidance. There is a range of resources on the BU website to help churches practically and spiritually during these uncertain times.