The Church of England issued new guidelines on Friday for weddings in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, limiting the participants of the wedding to only 5 – including the bride and groom – and denying children of the couple and other immediate family the ability to witness or participate in the ceremony. In an article on their website titled “Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for churches,” they write:
“While wedding services may continue, numbers attending the ceremony in church will need to be strictly curtailed to the legal minimum, which is the priest, bride, groom and two witnesses.
Where family relatives or friends are unable to attend given the restrictions on numbering, churches will be happy to explore ways to allow others to join the service, either through platforms such as Skype, or recording the service to send at a later date to anyone unable to attend.
In keeping with the recommendations to limit social gatherings, there should not be a reception or other gathering after the marriage; this should be arranged at a future date once Government advice permits.”
As pertaining to other religious events, the Church of England is limiting funerals to immediate family only, with the option to have the service live-streamed or recorded for later viewing. They have similarly strict guidelines for baptisms, writing, “numbers of those attending the baptism must be kept to a minimum – the candidate, their parents/guardians/carers, godparents and the minister and no others.”