Services in the Christmas Season


The Bishop of Chester and the Bishop of Birkenhead have today stated that benefices may dispense "with the requirement to hold a service of public worship on Sunday 27 December". 

Their letter reads: 

We appreciate that Christmas this year is likely to feel very different from usual. We will still be celebrating the coming of Jesus to live among us, with heartfelt thanks for all that tells us about God’s love for his world, even in tough times.

However, we will very probably still be living with significant restrictions and requirements to do all we can to mitigate the risk of the spread of the Coronavirus. Some parishes have therefore already been in touch about the challenges of holding services on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Sunday 27 December, given the need to clean spaces that are being used for services following on less than 72 hours from a previous service.

We would encourage parishes to celebrate the season of Christmas joyfully, and to serve their communities as best they can, but we do acknowledge the difficulties.

We previously encouraged churches to ensure that at least one service of public worship was held in each benefice each Sunday from 6 September onwards, unless specific dispensation was granted to delay re-opening. We are now giving a general permission to benefices to dispense with the requirement to hold a service of public worship on Sunday 27 December, if they wish. Some churches will of course still wish to hold a service of public worship, or an online service, that day. Alternatively, congregations may wish to join the online service from Chester Cathedral – to which they would be most welcome – or another service from elsewhere.   

We are praying for all of you as you continue to serve God and your communities and as you plan for Christmas, and we give thanks for your partnership in the Gospel.



Page last updated: 19th October 2020 10:27 AM