Our thanks to Cytûn’s Policy Officer, Revd Gethin Rhys for his latest update.
As you will be aware, the four governments in the UK have announced arrangements covering Christmas. You can see the guidance for Wales here: https://gov.wales/making-christmas-bubble-friends-and-family I would draw attention to three aspects:
- Members of a ‘Christmas bubble’ may attend a place of worship and sit together during the period December 23-27. It is likely that this will increase the numbers who can be included in Christmas worship over that weekend – but it is, of course, necessary to keep to all the usual safety arrangements. Places of worship should consider carefully how they may wish to accommodate safely the numbers of ‘bubbles’ who might wish to attend services.
- The members of a ‘Christmas bubble’ will need to return to their own homes by the end of Sunday December 27. Churches should therefore take this into account in arranging evening services that day.
- A household may form an exclusive ‘Christmas bubble’ with any two other households – not just with family members. But this may well mean that bubbles formed under the current arrangements to support neighbours and friends will have to be ended over this period in order to welcome family home, or to go away to family elsewhere. It would be good, therefore, if churches could think how they might offer pastoral support to those left out by this arrangement because they have no family with whom they can ‘bubble’, and consider whether there is any way they could bubble together (up to three households) or join a two-household bubble in order – for example – to share Christmas lunch. Naturally, any such arrangements should take careful account of safety with regard to coronavirus and with regard to safeguarding children and vulnerable adults.
I have received a number of queries relating to new guidance about singing published by Public Health England. This guidance is not currently applicable in Wales, and although we are continuing to discuss this with Welsh Government, places of worship are advised to continue to plan on the basis of the existing guidance on singing in Wales. We have updated the section on singing on our website to draw attention to the possibilities of arranging congregational singing outdoors under the existing guidance, and the way in which groups of up to 6 may rehearse and lead worship indoors and outdoors. The links to the relevant Welsh Government guidance can be found in the ‘FAQs’ section here:https://www.cytun.co.uk/hafan/en/covid-19-briefing-paper/
Pob bendith – Blessings