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Professional singing to be allowed outside for churches

by Cara Bentley

The rules on singing at church have slightly changed, with the Government now allowing singing in small groups by professionals outside from 11th July. 

Singing is still discouraged inside churches due to the suspected risk of transmitting coronavirus, as is chanting or shouting. 

One person is allowed to sing to the congregation with a screen in front of them which is cleaned after. 

However, from Saturday, small groups of professional singers will be able to sing in front of worshippers outside.

This would allow choirs and bands to meet up again but may not help churches who do not have 'professional' musicians. 

The guidance says: "Singing in groups should be limited to professional singers only and should be limited to a small set group of people. Both the singers and the worshippers should be outdoors."

Groups of professional singers are also now able to rehearse and film their performance and broadcast it later. 



Wind instruments are still advised against but organs can be used if thoroughly cleaned before and after playing. 

The full guidance can be read here

The Church of England have updated their guidance in line with this, clarifying that this singing can take place "if the churchyard or land around your church is owned or managed by you (for example by the PCC).

"Under government guidance a place of worship refers to a building used for regular religious ceremonies, communal worship or similar gatherings by religious organisations and includes the use of surrounding grounds for which the ‘venue managers’ are also responsible. Given this, if you are using a churchyard you own or manage you can assess the capacity limits in the same way as you would for the inside of the building taking into account current social distancing rules, and having completed a risk assessment. Social distancing and hygiene measures must still be maintained. If you are worshipping in an outside space not owned or managed by the church then the relevant guidance for that place should be adhered to. In many cases this will mean lower levels of capacity."

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