Live Events (including outdoor worship outwith church grounds)

This section does not apply to worship services held indoors. Congregations should refer to the worship section for further advice.

Most events that a congregation will offer, including worship beyond church grounds, should be organised in line with the outdoor event guidance. What is allowable is dependent on the level in which the area is place

  • Level 0 – Outdoor events up to a maximum of 2000 seated or 1000 free standing are permitted, along with indoor events with a maximum capacity of 400
  • Level 1 – Outdoor events up to a maximum of 1000 seated or 500 free standing are permitted, along with indoor events with a maximum capacity of 200
  • Level 2 – Outdoor events up to a maximum of 500 seated or 250 free standing are permitted, along with indoor events with a maximum capacity of 100
  • Level 3 - Only drive-in events are permitted
  • Level 4 – No outdoor events are permitted

Any outdoor events will require permission from the landowner and consultation with the local Environmental Health Service. There may also be licensing issues and congregations should check with the licensing section of the local authority.

The Scottish Government has stated that every outdoor event must have a risk assessment and an operational guide and checklist which includes issues such as toileting, parking, entry and exit point etc. This is not an insignificant piece of work for a congregation to undertake and it must be completed prior to any event taking place, or even being given permission to take place by the local authority.

Congregations may wish to consider the challenges associated with the organisation of a larger scale outdoor live event, especially if they have not yet had much experience of dealing with the physical distancing and hygiene regulations inside a church building. As with other areas of this guidance, it may be helpful for a congregation to consider smaller events and scale upwards after a period of time.

For more details see the Scottish Government's operational guide and checklist for events.