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Congregational singing.

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Sorry.  This is all total balderdash.  I am honestly glad I am out of the UK church music scene. I now live (and play occasionally) in France, where masked singing has been allowed since churches reopened.  AND as for following "guidance" from a load of idiots who couldn't guide water out of a sieve.....!

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1 hour ago, Andrew Butler said:

  AND as for following "guidance" from a load of idiots who couldn't guide water out of a sieve.....!

The government has lifted restrictions and singing is now allowed. It will be up to the churches to decide whether or not they will allow it.

My church is continuing as we are now until September.

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This is what the Catholic Church is saying (although there have been minor differences in one or two dioceses: 

Social Distancing and Capacity of Churches

From 19th July, there will be no legislation on social distancing in England but regulations will continue in Wales for now, and thus churches may increase their capacity, recognising that for the time being different rules apply for England and Wales.

Care has to be taken to ensure that churches continue to be places where people feel safe to gather to worship. Each local community should examine the local conditions regarding the virus, and adopt an attitude of care for the people who desire to attend Mass. Suggestions to help this include (but are not limited to):

1. In large churches, designating an area of the church where there will be set places, socially distant from each other, and where those seated there will be required to wear a face covering.

2. In places which cannot do this, considering whether one Mass over the weekend schedule would continue providing a reduced capacity with social distancing.

3. Producing simple cards with a phrase such as “Please leave a Space” which peoplecan pick up on entry to church and put beside them so that a space can be left to allow for distancing.

The adoption of methods such as these will build confidence in the people that the church remains a safe place to enter and worship.

Each church should continue to assess the local situation regarding the virus and adapt as necessary to the local conditions. This may mean that in areas of very high transmission, churches may have tighter measures than in areas of lower transmission.

Congregational Singing

Indoor congregational singing will be permitted from 19th July. The use of cantor groups and other choirs is now permitted. It is recommended that singing should be phased in gently aspart of worship over the summer period and that face coverings should be worn by members of the congregation whilst singing together, until infection levels reduce.

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It's not so much that there are 'rules', it's the fact that changes come out at the last minute and are badly communicated (and I sometimes wonder if those who prepare them live in the real world!).  I saw these yesterday morning - passed them to my Parish Priest immediately, then our Diocese announced that it was going to follow them.  He and I then need to devise a plan and communicate it to parishioners, the stewards and cleaning co-ordinator and other clergy, musicians etc tomorrow. We also have to take local conditions into account - only 66% single jabbed and 33% double jabbed here.  Then we need to brief stewards, visiting organists (I'm passing all paid gigs to organists who need the income to live) and prepare signage...and it goes on, and on and on...

On the other hand, we have been fortunate in having a hard working and well-organised team of volunteers, cantor & organ at Sunday mass since last August, the organ being maintained, and a congregation of around 130-150 - with no-one catching the infection.  One very real benefit has been the development of a cadre of parish supporters (many new to the parish),  who will provide a backbone for the parish for a few years to come (looking on the brighter side).  We've also gained a few things - such as having a proper and reverent Communion Procession rather than the traditional 'queue'.

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We'll be singing - first service is a memorial service on Friday.  The guidelines, taken I understand from the Baptist Union's advice, is to continue to wear masks, and not sing too loud!  (I can't see some of our folk sticking to the last point!)  I'm not sure what, if anything, we're doing about social distancing.  Sunday morning should be fun.

Every Blessing


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On 21/07/2021 at 11:22, madorganist said:

We're starting to sing on Sunday, but it's only going to be the last hymn. The risk averse will be given the option to leave before it's sung


That’s going to be our plan too, when services are inside. We hope to be outside for many of the Sundays from now until the end of September though and we will encourage everyone to sing.

Social-distancing: I think our plan is to have the North side of the church to be a free-for-all and the South side to remain for those who wish to maintain social-distancing as before with alternate pews roped off.

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