The archbishops have written to all clergy to inform them that updated guidance has been issued in relation to the suspension of the Common Cup in response to Coronavirus Covid-19.
The full guidance is online, but the relevant update is as follows:
It is our view, in light of the continued increase of Covid-19 cases in the United Kingdom, that it is now necessary to suspend the administration of the chalice as well as physical contact during the sharing of the peace, blessing or "laying on of hands". We therefore advise that all priests should:
- Offer Communion in one kind only to all communicants i.e. the consecrated bread/wafer/host, with the priest alone taking the wine;
- suspend handshaking or other direct physical contact during the sharing of the peace;
- suspend direct physical contact as part of a blessing or ‘laying on of hands’
Bishop Keith Sinclair, has also written to all clergy to offer his support and prayers. He says:
"Thank you for what you are doing in your prayer and care. I know we are all at full stretch at the moment so I just wanted to express my thanks and give whatever encouragement I can for us to keep going, as the ongoing assessment of the health challenge continues to develop and change from day-to-day."
The Diocese of Chester is not maintaining its own page of Coronavirus, but instead is encouraging all parishes, clergy and church leaders to continually visit the Church of England's website.
The Church of England guidance is being kept under constant review.