James Thorpe has kindly sent out details of the CCCBR’s guidance following the Government’s move to Plan B on Covid and the latest Omicron variant. The new mandatory rule comes into effect Friday 10 December.
Helen goes on to say that at this stage there is no reason for Branch AGMs not to proceed. I will be sending out information on the Peterborough Branch AGM scheduled for Saturday 15 January 2022 next week. Until told otherwise, we will “Keep Calm and Carry On” with arrangements for our Branch AGM.
Helen’s full text is below:
To branch chairs, secretaries & treasurers.
The PM’s move to “Plan B” this week, with the introduction of mask wearing in more locations, will no doubt have ringers wondering where that leaves them. The CCCBR’s website on the subject (https://cccbr.org.uk/coronavirus/) has been partly updated today and it includes the following text:
The Church of England guidance for Plan B in England has now been published and it includes the following words: “Face coverings are currently mandatory on public transport and in a range of indoor venues including places of worship. While there are exemptions, outlined below, this is a legal requirement” (their emphasis).
It goes on to list the exemptions. The CofE Recovery Group has not offered any general exemption for bellringing. The full document can be found here. Although an early paragraph suggests that face coverings might be at the discretion of individual churches, that appears to be misleading as later paragraphs on pages 2 and 3 confirm that face coverings are a legal requirement.
The Government guidance that includes places of worship in the list of mandated places for face coverings is here.
Please circulate to towers such that they can let ringers know of the change, which comes into effect on Friday, 10th December.
With the current guidance there is nothing to indicate that Branch AGMs cannot proceed as planned – there is no limit on numbers meeting in a venue. Obviously, that will be a decision for each branch. There is an exemption to remove masks when it is necessary for clear communication, which could be read to include the chair and other members, when speaking. If there are any questions, please get back to me. I can’t promise to help, I’m likely to be as flummoxed as you are, but I will try.
Secretary: Peterborough Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers
Telephone: 01832 735 266