An urgent letter from the Archdeacons
21 December 2020
Dear colleagues and friends,
The First Minister’s statement about the pandemic Friday outlined worrying new developments, and brought forward the introduction of Alert Level 4.
During Alert Level 4, our understanding is that:
- churches may remain open for worship and private prayer.
- gathering for outdoor activities is not permissible
- community centres / church halls (or community activity within places of worship) can only be opened for essential public services (the definition of which includes foodbanks)
Even though churches may remain open for worship and private prayer, the increased Alert Level must be taken seriously.
- This means that risk assessments and plans should be checked against the latest version of the Church in Wales’s national guidance.
- It also means that churches and Ministry Areas should make a judgement about the advisability of all of their plans for gathering for worship, on a case-by-case basis. While public worship is permitted, it should not go ahead if the judgement of the church and the Ministry Area Leader is that it would be unwise to do so given levels of risk or anxiety. We understand that this means that public worship will be suspended in some places.
The detailed, essential guidance on the Church in Wales’s website is currently laid out in a way that anticipates the interaction of Alert Level 4 from 28 December. Clearly all that applies to Alert Level 4 now applies immediately. Again, we ask that risk assessments and plans should be checked against this guidance.
We wanted to issue this clarification as soon as possible.
The Venerable Alan Jevons
Archdeacon of Brecon
The Venerable Jonathan Davies
Archdeacon of Gower