COVID Safety

We want to you feel safe when you come and join us in worship, so we have the current guidelines in place for after 19th July 2021

Following advice from the Archdeacons and the National Advisors to the Church of England. This may change in the light of further advice and guidance.

Opening Churches for Prayer or to light a candle.

S. Mary the Virgin and S. Edward Shaugh Prior are now open deach day during daylight hours for access for private prayer. However, you should be aware that the Churches are not cleaned on a daily basis and you should exercise personal caution when in contact with surfaces. We do not accept liability if you use the Church for private prayer or to light a candle.

Track and Trace

You can use the NHS Track and Trace App on your phone as all Churches and the Vicarage have a QR Code. If you cannot use this app then a register is kept to help track and trace contacts at the Sunday Services. The details are kept for 3 weeks and then securely destroyed according to Government and GDPR advice.


We strongly encourage the wearing of facemasks throughout the service for those who are not exempt. Those who choose not to wear facemasks should sit in a distinct area (the north aisle of S Mary and S. Edward).

If the celebrant considers that their health (or the health of the whole congregation) is compromised by a member of the congregation then will can refuse to take or terminate a service. An individual’s safety assessment is paramount.

We strongly encourage the wearing of facemasks throughout an act of worship, especially when singing.*

The reader and celebrant do not need to wear a mask whilst preaching, praying or reading as they are at a distance from the congregation. The Celebrant of the Mass will wear a mask during the Eucharist and when it is distributed and full santise hands at several points before the congregation receive communion in one kind only.. Wedding Couples do not need to wear a mask.

Limiting Numbers

We reserve the right to limit numbers at services and request social distancing.

This is based on a church-by-church risk assessment and takes account of people movement, ventilation, proximity and size. Closing pews will continue at S Mary the Virgin and S Edward. S Anne (and in time, S Cecilia) will continue to have separated pairs/triples of chairs for safety.

I believe that this means that numbers are in this ballpark:

S. Edward, Shaugh Prior5070
S. Mary, Bickleigh5070
S. Anne, Glenholt3050
Suggested Maximums per Church


*Can restart on Sunday 25th.July. We commend the use of masks whilst singing.


Communion will continue to be offered at the chancel step in one kind only for the foreseeable future until the Delta Variant is put to bed. There is a one way system in operation to ensure there is no close contact. I suggest you wear your mask up, remove it, make the sign of the cross, receive communion, put your mask back on and then recirculate to your seat.

Although the rules suggest we could repurpose the old Anglican adage to say: “All may, none must, should you?” I don’t feel it is sensible to yet reinstate the common cup. Individual Communion Cups are unlawful and theologically suspect and we would resist them on theological grounds should they ever become lawful. Jesus Christ is fully present in both kinds of the Eucharist, so even if you only receive the host bread, you still have fully partaken in Communion.

Sharing the Peace

The Makaton Peace will still be encouraged. The peace in more physical forms is a matter of choice, but must not be forced upon anyone.

If you prefer to keep your distance, then share the peace like this:

Risk Assessments