Following the latest Government guidance, issued on 10th December, the Bishops’ Conference has updated its guidance to the Dioceses of England and Wales to offer advice for safe communal worship in Catholic churches during the Covid-19 pandemic.
HM Government has made the wearing of face covering mandatory in places of worship from Friday 10th December 2021. However, there will be exemptions for those leading worship, public proclamation of scriptural readings or prayers, and those who are unable to wear face coverings and are exempt.
HM Government guidance states that “There is a reasonable excuse for someone to remove a face covering when it is reasonably necessary for them to sing, for example, if they are singing as part of a choir, or during a service, rehearsal or for a performance.”
The current Church guidance states that congregational singing should take place with face coverings in place and choirs and soloists may sing without such coverings.
As the Church moves towards Christmas celebrations which often involves carol services and other singing events, it is strongly recommended that congregational singing within church buildings continues with the applied face coverings.