We are grateful to the Revd Gethin Rhys, Cytun’s Policy Officer for the details outlined below, in light of the current regulations from the Welsh Government.
Although Welsh Government’s announcement on June 18 emphasised that there would be no substantial easing of regulations from June 21, the revised regulations when published (https://gov.wales/health-protection-coronavirus-restrictions-no-5-wales-regulations-2020-amended) did include significant easements relevant to places of worship and faith communities. It was not until July 2 that Welsh Government published revised guidance for places of worship confirming these changes (https://gov.wales/guidance-reopening-places-worship-coronavirus-html) The most significant changes are as follows:
- The regulations include an important relaxation in the rules regarding who ma ysit together, bringing places of worship (and other public places) in line with cafes, pubs, etc. In arranging the place of worship or meeting place, a permitted group may sit together without maintaining a 2m distance between each household in the group. From June 21, such a group may include up to 6 adults from up to 6 different households, or members of an extended household. Currently any three households (of any size) may form an extended household, and one additional household containing only one adult (with or without children) may join that extended household. Each household may be part of only one extended household. A permitted group can sit together for worship and for Community or social activities. However, it remains the legal responsibility of those in charge of the building how to arrange the seating, and the regulations do not give any individuals a right to sit together. Those who are arranging the building should note that some individuals may be anxious about sitting together with others and would prefer to sit alone. This is ultimately a matter for local pastoral sensitivity.
- Singing and the playing of musical instruments are now permitted, including congregational singing (while wearing face coverings) and playing all kinds of wind instruments. However, a detailed risk assessment must be carried out before proceeding. Welsh Government guidance can be found here: https://gov.wales/guidance-reopening-places-worship-coronavirus-html#section-44811 The underlying technical advice has been published here: Technical Advisory Group: review advice on communal singing and chanting, including wind instruments and pipe organs | GOV.WALES
- Welsh Government guidance now permits pastoral visiting indoors, including in private dwellings. Those involved should, of course, continue to take all reasonable care, and when the weather is favourable outdoor visiting should still be considered.
- The next announcement regarding regulations in Wales is expected on July 15 or 16, to be implemented from July 19.
Cytûn’s website has been updated to take account of these changes – https://www.cytun.co.uk/hafan/?page_id=2861&lang=en
Pob bendith – Blessings