top of page

Re-opening Churches:
Your Questions Answered

Thank you to all those who attended our Reopening Churches Question and Answer Session which took place on Thursday 13 August. The panel consisted of Revd Michaela Youngson (Chair of District), Becky Skinner (District Safeguarding Officer), Sandy Youngson (Public Health Specialist at Brent Council and lead at our Infection Control in Faith Settings Briefings) and Kathleen Henriques-Brown (District Property Development Officer).


Below are a list of questions that were asked on the day and their corresponding answers. Please note that the information provided is correct as of Thursday 13 August. Guidance is changing frequently, and so we strongly advise that the information below is considered in conjunction with guidance issued by both the Government, and the Methodist Church (connexion). A list of links referred to in this session, along with links that may be of use, can be found below. These links are numbered. If a particular piece of guidance / link is referred to in an answer by the panel, it can be identified by the corresponding number.

A downloadable (.pdf) copy of the questions and answers can be accessed via the link below.


Please feel free to contact us if you have any further queries.

Question and Answer Session Transcript (information correct as of Thursday 13 August 2020)

  • What is the revised timescale for completion of safeguarding training?
    The timescale for completion of training is as follows: Safeguarding training to be refreshed every 4 years (at the appropriate level) Local Preachers and Worship Leaders are to complete the Advanced training by August 2021 All those in appropriate roles to have completed safeguarding training within 6 months of starting in role All those who have had their training expire during during Covid-19 will need to complete the appropriate refresher level within 3 months of the District returning to face-to-face training
  • Did the Safeguarding Committee agree to the current Foundation Module being delivered online?
    No, the Safeguarding Committee agreed to the development of a modified online Foundation module which will be suitable for online platforms such as Zoom.
  • We have a plan to deliver the Foundation Module online, can we do it now?"
    No. The connexion need to make adjustments to the current material to ensure that it is accessible to all, and that the training delivery is consistent. We also need to nake sure that all trainers have the support they need in order to adapt to this new learning forum. If your circuit would like to pilot the online training, please contact Becky or Martha.
  • As a circuit we do not feel it is appropriate to deliver online training; what should we do?
    Online training is an optional additional resource to enable circuits to deliver training. The District encourages those who are able to access online learning to do so. For circuits that do not want to offer online training, it is important that they work closely with the District to review what is needed to ensure face-to-face training can take place safely, and is kept under review.
  • Some of our churches are now open for socially distanced worship; can we start delivering face-to-face-training again?
    No. The current format for training uses discussion groups which we cannot facilitate under the current restrictions. This should be kept under review, and the District will be able to provide guidance on when face-to-face training can resume.
  • Who will pay for the Zoom licence for Foundation Module training?
    Circuits will need to purchase a licence for the Online Foundation Module training.
  • How do we ensure appropriate pastoral support during Online Foundation module training?
    There is clear recognition of the need to be pastorally sensitive during training, and the potential for the material to trigger traumatic memories and experiences. Part of the remit of the working group will be to look at how this need can be met when training is being delivered online.
  • What happens with the timescale if we are unable to deliver the training and/or people are unable to commit or fit in with the dates?
    The intention behind the training extension and the offer of online training, is in recognition of the challenges circuits are experiencing. Circuits are asked to work with the District by submitting their training records by Tuesday 01 September, to enable the District to make informed decisions
  • Is there a maximum number of people per session we can train online?
    Once the courses are available there will be guidance in relation to the number of people permitted per session.
  • How frequently doe smy circuit need to forward training records to the District?
    Every 6 months. You will be sent a reminder notification one month in advance. Records will be reviewed as part of the safeguarding audit process.

Useful links:


  1. Methodist Church Guidance on face coverings:

  2. Government Guidance on the safe use of place of worship (includes guidance on face masks, over 70s attending church, protective security etc):

  3. Government guidance on how to use, make and wear face masks, where they must be worn, exemptions:

  4. Government guidance on how to make different environments Covid-secure:

  5. Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Body warning on the use of temperature screening products:

  6. Exemption from wearing face coverings badge:

  7. Government guidance on cleaning in non-healthcare settings:

  8. Government guidance on the use of multi-purpose community facilities (e.g. church halls) Includes information on cleaning, vulnerable people, multiple entry points and permitted activities:

  9. Statistical information on disparities in the risks and outcomes of Covid-19: (The core data where this is found is released every Thursday which includes charts and graphs and can be found at

  10. Methodist Church guidance on the use of cafes within church buildings:

  11. Health and Safety Executive Guidance for air conditioning:

  12. Government guidance for the disposal of face masks and PPE:

  13. Methodist Church Guidance for use of places of worship:

  14. Methodist Church Guidance for the cleaning of churches (inc use of hand dryers):

  15. Methodist Church Guidance for weddings:

  16. Methodist Church Guidance for funerals:

  17. Government guidelines on what you can and can’t do:

  18. Methodist Church Guidance for Holy Communion:

bottom of page