Looking After Your Church Buildings

A guidance on safely reopening and caring for church buildings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Last Updated: 17 November, 2021

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The Scottish Government recommend that before we mix with anyone outwith our own household we undertake a Lateral Flow Test. This may include visiting individuals or receiving a visit, attending a group or attending worship or a funeral. Everyone is encouraged to follow this guidance in relation to the life of the Church and community.

If you have a positive COVID-19 Case in your Church Building

If you become aware of an individual who has recently been in your church building testing positive for COVID-19 we ask that the Kirk Session email covid19guidance@churchofscotland.org.uk at the earliest opportunity. Upon receipt of your email our team will make contact to share guidance to assist you in ensuring that processes are followed to keep the building safe. It is vital that the name of any individual testing positive for COVID-19 is not shared within the congregation or community.

The congregation should ensure that any third parties using church premises are aware that they should inform the key contact in the congregation if any of their workers or attendees test positive but they should not provide the identity of the person who has tested positive. The Kirk Session should then email the Covid Group for assistance as above.

Most Church of Scotland buildings across the country have reopened as communities continue to move through the pandemic. At various times during the pandemic they have been open for services and used to celebrate life events. They have also been used to support our local communities, including most recently operating as temporary vaccination centres. Many congregations were able to reopen their buildings following the initial and subsequent lockdowns. However, some churches took the difficult decision to remain closed throughout the period.

This guidance refers to the key issues relating to looking after church buildings to ensure the health, safety and welfare of those who work in, volunteer or visit your church buildings.

Congregations who have not been able to reopen their buildings should speak with their Presbytery at the earliest opportunity in order that a discussion can take place on the circumstances around the building and the needs of the congregation. In the meantime, it is important that the congregation take reasonable steps to ensure that the church buildings they are responsible for are maintained in a suitable and safe condition. This is a requirement of your insurance cover and congregations will have to demonstrate that reasonable care and attention has been taken to look after their church buildings. Please contact Church or Scotland Insurance Service by email (enquiries@cosic.co.uk) to discuss your particular context.


Preparing to reopen church buildings

Each congregation, in discussion with Presbytery, is responsible for deciding whether they wish to reopen their church buildings or not. When considering whether to reopen a church building, it may be useful to ask yourself the following initial questions:

  • Can we safely practice physical distancing within our church buildings?
  • Can we provide access to suitable hand hygiene facilities?
  • Do we have enough willing volunteers who will be able to assist church members and visitors to our buildings and to help them understand and follow our safety precautions?
  • Do we have enough willing volunteers who will be able to assist with the regular cleaning and disinfection of our buildings?

All of these questions are important, as congregations must have the resources and ability to put in place reasonable precautions to control the risks of COVID-19 before they can reopen.

The role of Presbytery

Every Presbytery has general powers of superintendence over congregations within its bounds. Presbytery also has a duty to ensure that church buildings are safe. This is normally carried out during a five-yearly inspection of church buildings and annually attesting records that consist of a property inspection, updated Property Register and relevant Health and Safety documentation.

It is expected that all Presbyteries will play a role in supporting congregations and ministers in the reopening of their church buildings. This may vary across Presbyteries, but as a minimum standard Presbyteries will ensure that every congregation has completed a reopening of church buildings checklist and a COVID-19 risk assessment. This will demonstrate that the congregation can meet the legal requirements expected of a church building open to members of the public.

Where a disagreement between a minister and the congregation exists over the reopening of their church buildings, the Presbytery should seek to discuss the matter with the congregation and the minister to understand the issues and work in partnership to overcome the challenges and reach agreement.

The COVID-19 risk assessment must be updated to reflect the additional activities that the congregation will be undertaking and supporting as COVID-19 restrictions are reduced. For example, when childcare services resume in their church buildings or when external groups return to use their buildings. There is no need for congregations to submit routine updated COVID-19 risk assessments to Presbytery before any additional activity or service returns to the church building so long as Presbytery is confident that the congregation will be able to suitably control any additional risks that may be created. However, Presbytery may wish to implement their own assurance process or system to support congregations as they reopen their church buildings for further use.

Congregations should ensure that they are aware of their own Presbytery’s process for approval for the reopening of church buildings and subsequent use of their church buildings for additional activities before moving forward. For example, if your presbytery has approved the reopening of your church sanctuary, then they may also require additional approval before the church hall can reopen.

Presbyteries may also wish to consider bulk buying schemes for cleaning and hygiene products and, where appropriate, may offer advice or instruction to congregations on the reopening of their church buildings in accordance with the general powers of Presbytery.

Reopening of Church Buildings process from 26 March 2021

For those congregations that did not reopen their church buildings after the first lockdown in March 2020 and wish to reopen their church buildings now:

The congregation must follow the standard reopening of church buildings process. This means that the congregation must complete the reopening of church buildings checklist, undertake a COVID-19 risk assessment and submit both documents to Presbytery for approval.

For those congregations that did reopen their church buildings following the first lockdown in March 2020 and submitted their church buildings checklist and COVID-19 risk assessment to Presbytery for approval:

A simplified process has now been put in place. If the congregation has undertaken weekly inspections of their buildings using the Church of Scotland weekly inspection checklist (available in PDF and Word formats), details of which were sent to office bearers on 29 January 2021, and this has been signed off each week, then this alongside a revised and/or updated COVID-19 risk assessment should be submitted to Presbytery. Congregations will also have to complete and submit a buildings safety declaration (available in PDF and Word formats) form to Presbytery to confirm that the weekly inspection record is accurate and that their church buildings are safe to reopen. It may also be helpful to Presbytery to receive an extract minute from the Kirk Session confirming their intention to reopen as this, along with the approval of documents must be a decision of the Kirk Session as a body, not a single office bearer.

For those congregations that did reopen their church buildings following the first lockdown in March 2020 and submitted their church buildings checklist and COVID-19 risk assessment to Presbytery for approval but have not completed a weekly inspection of their buildings:

They must complete and submit to Presbytery a new buildings checklist and COVID-19 risk assessment for approval.

For those congregations that did not reopen their church buildings following the first lockdown in March 2020, or who did reopen their buildings but have decided that their buildings should now remain closed:

Both Presbytery and COSIS must be informed of their decision.

It is important to stress that church buildings cannot reopen without Presbytery approval.

Balconies and Galleries

Balconies and galleries can now be used during worship and life events for seating. Those sitting in the balcony or gallery must maintain 1m physical distance unless they are sitting as a small family group and all other control measures such as the wearing of a face covering, and cleaning and disinfection must be followed. The safe occupancy level for each balcony and gallery must be calculated and included in the total occupancy level for the building. Congregations should only use balconies and galleries if it is safe to do so and ensure that pinch points or bottlenecks are not created by those accessing or leaving the balcony.

Church organists and AV technicians who use the church balcony or gallery during services and life events can continue to do so.

Property checklist

Many congregations will already be following the guidance issued by the Church of Scotland Insurance Service (COSIS) and the General Trustees about regularly visiting and inspecting your church property whilst it is closed. Therefore, it is likely that you will know the current condition of your church property. Congregations must use the property checklist as part of their planning to reopen their church buildings.

Before visiting and inspecting your church buildings, consider who may have accessed them in the previous week. Anyone visiting or inspecting church buildings should have been following the guidance issued by the General Trustees, which includes the need for cleaning and disinfecting of all hand contact surfaces that they may have touched during their visit. In addition, when more than one person is completing the property checklist, physical distancing must be observed, and a face covering must be worn unless they are from the same household. Good hygiene practices must be followed at all times during your visit, and all hand contact surfaces that you have touched must be cleaned and disinfected before leaving the church building.

Risk assessment

It is the responsibility of every congregation to ensure that there are suitable and sufficient arrangements in place to comply with health and safety legislation. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is clear that COVID-19 is a recognised hazard and therefore the congregation must undertake a COVID-19 risk assessment. The COVID-19 risk assessment must be completed before any activities take place within a church building or church grounds that the congregation is responsible for. The risk assessment must also be regularly reviewed and updated as and when there are changes within the congregation, for example when external groups return to use your church building or when there is an increase in the number of people attending worship. A copy of the COVID-19 risk assessment must be retained in your church building and made available should anyone ask to see it.

The COVID-19 risk assessment supplements the risk assessments that you should already have in place for your church buildings. Congregations will be required to review and update all other risk assessments that are already in place to ensure that they accurately reflect the hazards and risks within their church buildings. Further advice and guidance on risk assessments can be found in the Church of Scotland General Trustees Health and Safety Toolkit.

For any activities that take place within church buildings and grounds (internal and external groups) should complete an activity risk assessment for which more details can be found in the Activity-Based Risk Assessments section of our Reshaping Church Life page.

COVID-19 emergency procedures

The congregation should ensure that they have a procedure in place to deal with emergencies, including what to do if someone falls ill when visiting your church buildings. Health Protection Scotland (HPS) has produced an accessible guidance on how to respond to a COVID-19 incident in a non-healthcare setting and congregations should familiarise themselves with this document.

Please note, HPS updates this guidance regularly so it is important that you refer back to this document from time to time to ensure that you are using the most up-to-date version of the guidance.

The HSE has published guidance for first-aiders with specific reference to COVID-19 and congregations should ensure that they have suitable and sufficient arrangements in place to respond to any first-aid emergencies

Registering attendance (Test and Protect) in church buildings

Although the legal regulation to keep a register of those attending worship has been removed by the Government, when a congregation offers hospitality (tea and coffee after the service for example) the legal duty to maintain a register is applicable. It is recommended therefore that congregations continue to ask people to check-in to a church building for any reason. This can be done via a QR code or a paper register.

Congregations should ensure that there is a system in place to keep a temporary register of those who attend or visit their church buildings for a period of 21 days to support contact tracing as part of NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect programme. This extends to visitors, contractors, volunteers and employees. Congregations should collect the names, contact telephone number and the date of when individuals attend worship or a congregational activity or visit their church buildings. Every congregation will be required to adopt a specific privacy policy as the Trustees of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland are the Data Processor for the purposes of the data protection legislation, not the congregation where a paper register is kept.

Should a congregation wish to use an electronic system (or electronic alongside paper) they should arrange a QR code and materials, free of charge, from the Check in Scotland website. When setting up the QR Code the Government asks for a named person to contact in case of an outbreak and it should be considered making this person the same individual that has been registered with the Law Department for Test and Protect. It is important to remember that it will be necessary to retain some paper registers for those unable to scan QR codes, or where internet/ mobile signal is not strong. If an individual scans the QR code and registers it is not necessary to take their information again in a paper register retained by the congregation.

Each congregation will be required to provide the details of at least one person within the congregation who will be the main contact should the local Health Protection Team required details of who has attend their church buildings. Congregations should register their point of contact online at churchofscotland.org.uk/test-protect. Further information, advice and guidance is provided on our Assisting NHS Test & Protect page.

Positive COVID cases in Church buildings

The congregation should encourage everyone who visits a church building for whatever reason to alert a key contact or group leader should they test positive on either a Lateral Flow Test or a confirmatory PCR test.

Should you have a positive case notified to the congregation it is important that you email covid19guidance@churchofscotland.org.uk for further advice. You should not under any circumstances identify the individual in any communication with others in the congregation. It is important that, since the NHS Test and Protect system is overwhelmed at present, the congregation fulfil their moral duty to pass on information that a positive case has been linked to the church building. When the congregation email covid19guidance@churchofscotland.org.uk to alert them to a positive case we will supply you with suggested wording to use when informing the congregation or affected group(s).

Should there be more than one case linked to your church building in the space of a week you will be required to contact your local Health protection team to inform them of a potential cluster. More information will be given to you when you email the COVID team as detailed above.

Fire safety

The congregation is responsible for ensuring that there is a suitable Fire Safety Risk Assessment (FSRA) in place for their church buildings. Congregations should review and update their FSRA regularly, and in particular when there is a change in the use or occupation of their church building. Congregations should also review their FSRA before reopening their church buildings and consider the following questions:

  • How many people can you have in your church buildings at any one time once physical distancing precautions are in place and in line with Scottish Government restrictions?
  • Is there the capacity to help anyone with a disability and anyone who may require assistance in an emergency?
  • Will anyone in your church buildings be by themselves and, if so, will this create any additional fire safety risk?
  • Will there be an increase or decrease in the volume of materials being used or stored in your church buildings? For example, will you be using more chairs or fewer chairs or are you storing additional food items as part of a community food bank?
  • Will items that are normally in your church buildings be stored elsewhere in the building? For example, will you be stacking chairs or storing items in places where they would not normally be stored?
  • Will storing and using hand sanitisers or alcohol-based hand gels create additional fire safety risks within your church buildings?
  • Will physical distancing create any additional fire safety risk? For example, will people have to wait outside your building before they can safely enter, or will you need to position chairs close to an emergency exit?
  • How will physical distancing impact on your emergency evacuation procedures?
  • Will the precautions that you put in place impact on how the fire service will be able to access your church buildings in case of an emergency?
  • What additional training or support will you require for anyone who will be assisting members of your congregation or visitors in case of an emergency?

This is not an exhaustive list and there may be other factors that you might need to consider depending on your own circumstances and arrangements.

The congregation should maintain their current systems and controls already in place for fire safety such as their fire detection system, emergency lighting and fire extinguishers. The congregation should also review and update their FSRA as we move through the different phases of the Scottish Government’s four-phased approach to releasing COVID-19 restrictions. Further advice and guidance on FSRA can be found in the Church of Scotland General Trustees Health and Safety Toolkit

Legionella and water safety

If congregations already have a water safety management plan in place, then it is important that you continue to follow the control measures that it describes.

If your water supply has not been isolated during the closure of your church buildings, then it is important that you take reasonable steps to ensure that your water supply is safe. Therefore, congregations should arrange to:

  • Run all water outlets for a minimum of 20 minutes. This includes all hot and cold taps and any showers that may be in your church buildings.
  • Hot water systems should be set to a minimum of 600C
  • Hot water temperature from all taps should reach at least 500c within one minute
  • Cold-water temperature from all cold-water taps should be below 200C within two minutes
  • If possible, windows and doors should be opened when running taps to ensure that the area is well ventilated.

If the temperature of the water is outwith any of these temperatures, then there is a risk that Legionella bacterium may be present in your water system. Further advice on Legionella is available from the HSE website.

If your church buildings’ water is supplied by a private water supply, then as well as the risk from Legionella bacterium, you should also ensure that any water treatment facilities installed in your church buildings have been serviced and are working properly.

Cleaning and disinfection

The cleaning and disinfection of all church buildings are important infection prevention and control measures against COVID-19. Congregations should consider what arrangements and resources would be required to clean and disinfect their church buildings whilst and after their church buildings have been used. The following principles should help you prepare for the cleaning and disinfection of your church buildings:

  • Church buildings should be cleaned as normal with a detergent and all hand touch sites disinfected with a disinfectant that is active against bacteria and viruses. It is important that the correct dilution rates are used, and contact time is followed as different cleaning chemicals may have different instructions. You should also follow any instructions on the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as gloves, face coverings and/or apron.
  • Particular attention should be given to the all hand touch sites such as door handles, grab-rails, light switches, chairs and tables. These should be cleaned and disinfected regularly throughout the day whilst the church building is open, and not just before closing the building.
  • Congregations are not required to wait 72 hours after the buildings has been used before cleaning the areas which have been used and disinfecting hand touch sites. However, if members of the congregation are particularly anxious about the spread of COVID-19 within their church buildings as a result of, for example, increased infection rates within the community, then they may wish to close their buildings for 72 hours before undertaking cleaning and disinfection. Evidence suggests that waiting 72 hours may reduce the active viral load on some surface, but not eliminate the virus completely. If a congregation decide to close their buildings for 72 hours, then they must ensure that the nobody accesses the building before it is cleaned and all hand touch sites disinfected.
  • Historical articles, fixtures and fittings in your building may require the use of specialist cleaning materials. Please contact the General Trustees for further information.
  • You may find it beneficial to implement a cleaning schedule for each area of your church building to assist those involved with cleaning.
  • Before any church building reopens, the areas of the building that you will reopen to members of your congregation and visitors should be thoroughly cleaned, disinfected and well ventilated. If you do not have access to a water supply within your church building, then you should consider how you can effectively clean and disinfect the building.

Specific guidance on cleaning and worship during the Christmas period has been issued and can be found in the reshaping church life guidance.

The use of fogging devices

A number of congregations have enquired about the use of fogging or misting machines as a means to clean and disinfect their church building. Both the World Health Organisation and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have raised concerns over the use of such technology as they may create a false sense of security regarding cleanliness and safety. Although fogging and misting technology has been used successfully in clinical and non-clinical settings, surfaces must still be cleaned to remove any grease or dirt, which would otherwise render the chemicals used for fogging and misting ineffective. It is up to each congregation to decide what methods of cleaning and disinfection should be used within their church buildings. If the congregation decides to use fogging or misting technology, then they must undertake a full risk assessment and consider the risks of using such chemicals, any PPE that may be required, first-aid requirements, the training of those using the machines and how to deal with any accidents involving the chemicals. We will not be able to offer any further advice or assistance with regards to purchasing or using fogging and misting machines for cleaning and disinfecting church buildings.

Congregations should consider how the additional cleaning required for reopening their church buildings could be undertaken. For example, will you need to employ additional cleaning staff or will you ask volunteers to help with the cleaning of your church buildings? Further advice on employing additional cleaning staff, amending the cleaning contract that you already have in place or working with cleaners and volunteers in the high-risk group can be obtained from the Law Department.

Heating and ventilation


Congregations must take reasonable steps to ensure that the heating system that is installed in their church building does not create additional risk of COVID-19 transmission by increasing excessive hot air circulation.

Nearly all forms of church heating can now be used whilst the building is occupied. Heating systems which take air from one occupied space in a building and moves it to another should not be used unless the system can be isolated to prevent the movement of air from one area to another. Fan-assisted radiators or other fan-based heating systems which recirculate warm air within the building should also not be used. If your buildings have either of these systems, then your building should be thoroughly heated before use and the system turned off before people arrive.

If you have any doubts or concerns regarding your heating and ventilation system, we would recommend that you contact the contractor who installed your system.


There is a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission whilst being indoors and it is important that congregations take reasonable steps to ensure that their church buildings are well ventilated when in use. Both the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the HSE state that good ventilation and increasing the supply of fresh air can reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission. It is a legal requirement that all buildings are adequately ventilated to improve the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone inside the building.

Ventilation removes stale air, which may be carrying the virus, and replaces it with fresh air. There is strong advice that we should be supplying as much fresh air as possible to indoor spaces to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The best way to achieve this is by opening doors and windows wherever it is possible to do so safely, to increase total airflow and bring in fresh air. This advice applies to both small rooms and to the Sanctuary itself. Natural ventilation, by opening windows, should be implemented. A window open at either side of a room will give good cross ventilation. High-level openings can often be less draughty but equally effective. If the windows need some maintenance to enable them to be used, then this should be carried out. However, fire doors must not be used as a means to improve airflow and ventilation.

For large spaces such as the sanctuary and church halls, it may be possible to close doors and windows whilst the space is being occupied to ensure that people are not exposed to low temperatures which may impact on their health. To do this safely, the spaces must be well ventilated for a period of time before occupation, and immediately ventilated after use. As face coverings are a legal requirement, it is important that people do not remain in enclosed indoor spaces for an overly extended period of time when natural ventilation has been reduced to support thermal comfort. Once this activity is finished, the indoor space must be thoroughly ventilated by opening windows and doors, when appropriate and safe to do so. Please note, smaller rooms such as meeting rooms must still be ventilated when in occupation alongside all spaces which support physical and exercise activities.

Congregations should let everyone who is attending or visiting their church buildings know that the reason for increasing the level of fresh air within the building is to help control the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Visitors and those attending the church building can then decide if they should wear warmer clothing whilst inside the church building.

Where there are mechanical systems for ventilation or heating, these need to be adjusted to maximise fresh air. Recycled air should not be used. Advice from the specialist servicing the heating and ventilation equipment can be sought to make the necessary adjustments.

The important thing is to look at the church building and see where doors and windows can open and be used to bring in fresh air, improve the ventilation and make the spaces as safe as possible for those inside. The HSE has published additional advice regarding ventilation which some congregations may find useful.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

The correct use of suitable PPE is an effective infection prevention and control measure against COVID-19. However, congregations should have a sensitive discussion with members of their congregation about the type of PPE that may be required, and how this can be used appropriately and safely in the church environment. PPE should only be considered once all other administrative control measures such as physical distancing and hand hygiene have been considered. The congregation should record in their risk assessment if PPE is being provided and for what purpose The following principles should help you decide what PPE may be required and used in your church buildings:

  • There are some situations when the use of gloves would be important, such as when cleaning or when handling money. However, gloves should not be routinely used in church buildings as they may offer a false sense of security to those who wear them. Instead, congregations should focus on promoting hand washing and good hygiene practices. Individuals may decide to wear gloves for other reasons such as if they have sensitive or broken skin, or if they are suffering from a dermatological condition. Only nitrile gloves should be worn for infection prevention and control purposes. Latex gloves should not be used in church premises due to the increased risk to those who may be allergic to latex products.
  • Facemasks protect the wearer from potential exposure to COVID-19 whereas face coverings offer some protection to other people who may be around someone who coughs or sneezes. Medical facemasks should not be worn unless there is a specific reason for their use. The congregation may decide to keep a small supply of non-medical facemasks in their buildings in case of emergencies.
  • The HSE has advised that KN95 facemasks must not be used for PPE purposes, as they do not comply with the relevant European standard. KN95 masks are readily available online, including though several discount websites. If you already have a supply of these masks in the church building, you are advised to dispose of these sensibly.
  • Disposable aprons should not normally be routinely worn; however, they may be useful when cleaning or when responding to an emergency, or when undertaking cleaning and disinfection activities
  • If the congregation decides to use PPE, then it is important that they ensure that people follow the manufacturer’s instructions on their correct storage, use and disposal. Congregations are responsible for ensuring that anyone who uses PPE knows how to use it safely and for what purpose.

Hand hygiene and general safety precautions

Once congregations have decided that they wish to reopen their church buildings, it is essential that they plan how they will communicate, promote and ensure that everyone who attends or visits their buildings can demonstrate good hand hygiene practices and follow the general safety precautions highlighted in this guidance document. Congregations should ensure that:

  • Hand washing facilities including hot running water, soap and drying facilities are available to use. If you do not have a running water supply in your church buildings they may still reopen; however, alcohol-based hand gels must be readily available.
  • Alcohol-based hand gels must be readily available throughout the areas of the church buildings that are open to members of the congregation and visitors. Alcohol-based hand gels should not be placed in toilets.
  • Appropriate signage is in place reminding those who are attending or visiting your church buildings to wash their hands or use alcohol-based hand gels upon entry and when leaving the building
  • Appropriate signage is in place reminding those who access your church buildings that a face covering should be used whilst inside the building
  • It is a legal requirement that those visiting enclosed public spaces, including church buildings, wear an appropriate face covering. However, those with certain medical conditions may be exempt from this requirement.
  • Appropriate measures are in place to ensure that physical distancing (1 metre) can be observed at all times and in all areas of your church buildings that are open to members of your congregation and visitors. This includes all areas where people enter, occupy and leave your buildings. You should also consider accessibility and if people can safely use any wheelchair or passenger lifts inside your church buildings whilst safely maintaining physical distance.

Alcohol-based hand gels with a minimum alcohol (ethanol) content of 60% are recommended for use in the effective control of COVID-19. We are aware that some congregations may find it difficult to source an adequate supply of alcohol-based hand gel and the availability of this should be a determining factor in whether your church buildings should reopen. Although alternative hand gels are available, it is important that congregations are confident that whatever type they intend to use, it is safe, and will provide a similar level of decontamination and protection to alcohol-based hand gels. Medical grade alcohol-based hand gels and those alcohol-based hand gels with a very high ethanol concentration (greater than 80%) should not be used if possible, as this may pose a fire safety risk.

The easiest way to promote the 1 metre physical distancing requirement would be to use appropriate tape and signs in and around your building. However, please be mindful of the historical nature of your church building, and that placing tape on the floor and on some pews/surfaces may cause significant damage.

The Church of Scotland has designed a number of signs and posters that congregations can download and print for use in church buildings.

Waste management

Congregations must ensure that any waste management contract is reinstated before you reopen your church buildings. General waste, including cleaning waste can be disposed of as you would under normal circumstances. If your local authority collects your waste, then you should advise them that your church buildings are reopening.

If a member of your congregation or a visitor to your church building becomes ill whilst inside your building, then any waste created from cleaning and disinfection must be double bagged, labelled and left in a secure place inside your church building for at least 72 hours before being placed outside for collection.

Useful Information and Appendices

We have produced other guidance on Reshaping Church Life which covers aspects congregational life and community support. We provide the following appendices on reopening church buildings, distancing, trace and protect policies, weekly buildings checks and health risks available as downloads:

Downloadable posters


Email: covid19guidance@churchofscotland.org.uk

First Published: 29 Jan 2021

See All Updates

17 November 2021

Amended information on cleaning and disinfection in respect of worship over the Christmas period.

1 November 2021

Updates to the heating and ventilation section.

10 September 2021

Updated to reflect the fact that buildings are no longer required to post a Public Display Notice of Physical Distance-based Capacity Limit (PDBC), updated information on registering attendance in Church buildings, and information on what to do if there is a positive COVID case in a church building.

13 July 2021

Updates throughout the guidance to reflect the reduction in physical distancing from 2m to 1m. Updates include new downloadable posters churches can use to display maximum allowable numbers indoors.

28 June 2021

Updates to the Preparing to Reopen Church Buildings, Determining Capacity, and Public Display Notice of Physical Distance-Based Capacity Limit (PDBC) sections to reflect the possible easing of the 2m rule

4 June 2021

Updated information in the Cleaning and disinfection section regarding pew cushions

14 May 2021

23 April 2021

15 April 2021

19 March 2021

12 March 2021