Broadcast on Tuesday, 7th July 2020. This webinar explored how we can help make special days special in new ways, and how we continue to support and bless people during a time when so many dreams have been disrupted and plans put on hold.
While we work out how and when weddings and christenings can happen in our churches, our ministry to couples and families continues.
The Revd Canon Sandra Millar looked at ways we can still do this as social distancing measures remain in place.
Broadcast on: Tuesday 7th July 2020
Link opens PowerPoint: Baptisms & Weddings 7th July 2020
VIDEO RECORDING OF THE LIVE WEBINAR:
NB: We have provided English closed captions for this video – click the Subtitles/Closed Captions icon on the player to enable them.
Useful links and resources
- Your Church Wedding FAQs for couples
- Church of England guidance for 1) Weddings and 2) Baptisms
- Licensing when live-streaming or recording weddings: Under Covid 19 FAQs on the CofE site – under heading “Copyright Licence Details for Live Streaming”
- (Link open s a public Facebook page) Some local TV news footage of one of the first church weddings since the easing of restrictions. A wonderful example of how local media contacts can help you build the profile of church weddings where you are.
- Resources for family services and faith at home:
- The Church of England’s Faith at Home resources
- The Church of England’s Christening website, which includes some ideas to help maintain faith-based activities at home after a christening
- The Spiritual Child Network
- The Church of England’s Going for Growth web pages
- The national network for church-based toddler groups
These were just a small selection of questions asked during this webinar. We can’t answer them all, so do contact us direct, or contact your diocesan advisers, if there is something you’d like clarifying.
Q: During Baptisms, how can we anoint in the sign of the cross on the forehead with an ‘implement’ as guidelines say?
A: A small, clean, soft item such as a cotton bud or make-up applicator sponge will do just fine.
Q: If a couple were attending to secure a legal connection ahead of their wedding – does the picking up after lockdown need to be sequential for the time remaining? We may be quite intermittent in the next few months if local lockdowns become the norm…
A: The good news is that there’s no need for the couple to restart their six months attendance if they had already started before lockdown. They pick up where they left off and attend at least once a month until their six months is complete. If there is a local lockdown or if the church needs to be closed for some reason and the couple are again prevented from attending, (and this means they won’t reach six months attendance before their wedding), contact your diocesan registrar for further advice. The wedding may still be able to happen but the registrar will need to check the legal requirements can still be met.
Q: Does the 30 limit for weddings include organist etc, and for a deaf priest, their BSL interpreter?
A: In the Government guidelines, the 30 guests allowed at weddings excludes anyone employed by the ‘venue’. So in the church context, the organist, verger and an essential BSL interpreter may fall into that category. The 30 maximum includes the bride and groom, and the vicar who is not technically an employee, they do have to be counted in the 30 guests. This is one of those anomalies that is bound to arise from time to time. Take a look at the Government guidance for the detail. The Church of England guidance is here.
Q: Regarding hired musicians for weddings, is it permissible for a soloist to sing in church during the signing of the register – and is a piper permitted?
A: Government guidance states that hiring singers and musicians who play wind instruments is best avoided at this time because these are activities which carry a greater risk of infection through airborne droplets. But consider your church setting – if it is a cavernous space like a cathedral, a soloist singer may be acceptable if they are positioned well back – several meters – away from anyone else, and if a protective screen can be placed in front of them. A safer alternative may be to pre-record their singing and play it on the usual sound system during the wedding. This would also free up a space for another guest – all hired musicians have to be counted in the maximum of 30 guests.
Q: I used to hold a Family Service that my baptism families came to. I can’t see how to do Family service anymore in these times of strict social distancing and all toys being put away. How do we engage families in church now?