This page is aimed at providing information and updates for committees and teams that run SNU Churches and Centres, and to assist them in running safely and effectively once the lockdown has been lifted enabling places of worship to re-open. Please check this page regularly.

Church members and congregations should check with their church or centre when they will re-open and under what arrangements - this will reflect their different circumstances. Please support your church and its committee.


September 18th 2020: Extract from a communication from the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government: "We are writing today to update you on new restrictions that will come into place across the North West, West Yorkshire and the Midlands from Tuesday 22 September. We’d like to confirm that these new restrictions will not impact existing restrictions on communal worship or the use of places of worship but will limit social gathering further. Gatherings will be limited to households or support bubbles. 

Full information and a list of areas impacted is available on the press release here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/restrictions-for-more-areas-in-north-west-west-yorkshire-and-midlands-to-tackle-rising-infection-rates " #England


September 11th 2020: The Welsh Government has announced the nation's equivalent of the "Rule of 6" which will (like in England and Scotland) become law on Monday 14th September 2020. In documentation issued and press conferences so far there has been no indication that this will apply to places of worship, and that groups of up to 6 (from an extended household, not including children under 11) may attend a church under this law. #Wales

Read the announcement at gov.wales here. |  Additional info here.

Cymraeg. | Ac yma


September 10th 2020: The Scottish Government today has announced that social gatherings will face similar restrictions to England (see yesterday's announcement below / September 9th) but does have some differences. However, for clarity, this does not apply to Scottish places of worship. But as always, please maintain a Covid-19 secure environment. #Scotland

Read the announcement at gov.scot here.

September 9th 2020: From Monday September 14th the Government in England has announced that social gatherings of groups larger than six people will be illegal. For clarity, this new law does not apply to places of worship, which are exempt. They have stated about this law, "There will be a limited number of exemptions. COVID-19 Secure venues, such as places of worship, restaurants and hospitality venues, can still host larger numbers in total but groups of up to 6 must not mix or form larger groups." Places of worship are still expected to be Covid-19 Secure, so please maintain all infection control measures. #England

Read the full update on Gov.uk here. 


August 25th 2020: Important information for SNU churches in #Scotland from OSCR.

Scottish Churches Charity accounts - The Union has sought guidance from OSCR in relation to the submission of accounts when it has not been possible to hold AGM’s because of the Pandemic. The guidance below is aimed at assisting our Scottish Churches though should you have and further queries please contact Head Office who will be pleased to assist you. OSCR has stated the following...

"Most of the reporting requirements to OSCR and the timescales for doing so are set in charity law. We cannot change these. However, we will change the way we respond to delays in reporting at this time.

We want to reassure charities that our approach to regulation during this time will be flexible and supportive.

We understand that for many charities it may be difficult to meet filing deadlines.  No charity will be penalised by us for this.  As the processes for updating our register are automated, there may be some cases where charities are marked as being late.  We are currently working to see what we can do to resolve that issue for those charities where the filing of accounts is likely to be affected by the pandemic. 

However, where you have all the information and are able to submit, please do so.  Your deadline is your 9 months after your financial year end date.  If you know that you are not going to be able to submit your accounts and annual return on time, then please tell us by email us at [email protected].

Wherever possible please scan and attach your accounts in OSCR Online. Any accounts posted to us will take longer to process whilst the office is closed.

At this time we are allowing charities to submit annual reports and accounts with typed signatures to help you meet your deadlines and finalise your accounts without physical or ‘wet’ signatures."


August 17th 2020: Following enquiries around temperature screening on entry to church buildings, the Union does not recommend this method as a reliable measure of infection control. Many organisations using this method have trained individuals and clinical grade equipment, and it still not a reliable indicator of a person having Covid-19, since they may be asymptomatic and still incubating the virus, or be using medication to lower temperature. Hand washing, face coverings, social distancing, effective cleaning and sanitisation, and a clear message to stay at home if symptomatic are still the best forms of infection control.


July 31st 2020: The Government has issued updated guidance on where face coverings have to be worn. This comes into place from August 8th 2020, and includes places of worship. The guidance also recommends that they should be worn now, ahead of this date. This guidance around face coverings can be found here. #England


July 20th 2020: The Welsh Government have updated their guidance for places of worship in Wales, who can now follow other nations of the UK in reopening their churches. Our Welsh churches and centres should read the guidance issued here which contains details of what is expected, which includes social distancing of 2 metres. #Wales


July 15th 2020: A reminder from the SNU to assist churches and centres in their interpretation of the social distancing guidance relating to the "2 metres" distance and the "1 metre plus" distance. Our interpretation of "1 metre plus mitigation" is that it should be used only where 2 metres is not possible and that it is not part of an either/or option. Churches and centres should observe the 2 metres social distancing guidance, even when "1 metre plus" is both possible and preferable. This is to minimise the risk to committee and congregation and other visitors to the building.


July 14th 2020: The Scottish Government has released guidance for the safe use of places of worship in Scotland. Part of their Phase 3, it will permit from July 15th 2020 "pre-arranged or scheduled acts of worship, such as regular congregational services." (With social distancing measures). To see the full guidance, visit the gov.scot website page#Scotland

We are awaiting updated guidance from the Welsh Government confirming a possible date for congregational worship to resume. #Wales (now updated, see above - July 20th)


June 30th 2020: Printable posters to assist your preparations for reopening are now available to download at the foot of this page.

New specific guidance for places of worship opening after July 4th 2020 has now been released by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (#England). You can read it here.


June 29th 2020: Today the government in Northern Ireland has stated (here) that "Religious services can resume in places of worship from Monday 29 June." #NorthernIreland


June 28th 2020: Below, as advised to participants, is the recording of the Zoom meeting for Presidents (or nominated representatives) of SNU Churches and Centres. It contains a discussion / Q&A of issues of concern to committees as they face the challenges of reopening their buildings after lockdown. It is posted here as an aide-memoire and as a catch-up for those unable to attend. In the rapidly changing environment, please be mindful of any changes to guidance going forward.


June 24th 2020: The Scottish government have today published new guidance which says that a date will be set for the opening of places of worship in Scotland in their July 9th 2020 review, stating this date is "unlikely to be before 23rd July." This will be part of their Phase 3 and they state that after the (yet to be decided) date, "Places of worship can re-open for congregational services, communal prayer and contemplation with physical distancing and limited numbers." Updates from the Union for our Scottish churches and centres will be posted on this page. #Scotland [This guidance has been updated - see above July 14th 2020]

June 24th 2020: Following the government’s announcement that places of worship may re-open for services from July 4th 2020 (England only) we are currently examining official guidance released today to determine what this means in practice for SNU churches and centres. This will follow shortly, and be posted on this page. #England


June 16th 2020: A copy of the booklet "Unlocking Our Future" containing information and guidance for churches and centres re-opening is being mailed to every SNU Church President. They have been advised to discuss this with their committees, and to assist we have provided an electronic copy of the booklet below, and a text-only version (for those who wish to print / change the font size etc.) Presidents have also been provided with joining details for an online SNU Zoom meeting for them or a committee representative. This will take place soon, and we will discuss re-opening and answer any questions that arise.

[DOWNLOAD PDF OF "UNLOCKING OUR FUTURE"

[DOWNLOAD TEXT ONLY VERSION OF "UNLOCKING OUR FUTURE"]

Church Committee members / Pioneer Centre teams can contact us for support in the usual way.


Coronavirus Signage 

Click and Download our SNU branded signage to display in your Church or Centre, reminding your congregation to keep best practice regarding social distancing and hygiene.

Individual Posters include: 

Keep Your Distance 


Wash Your Hands


Clean & Disinfect


Face Masks


Cover Coughs & Sneezes


Avoid Handshakes


Sanitize Your Hands


To download them all in PDF format please click here