Church of England: Weddings should be limited to five people during coronavirus outbreak

Church of England weddings held during the coronavirus outbreak should be limited to a maximum of five people, new guidance suggests.

The Church said weddings should be limited five - the legal minimum - which consists of the priest, bride, groom and the two witnesses.

The recommendations also ask that all guests - not including the couple getting married - observe a social distance as far as possible.

Participants in a group exercise class keep social distancing measures. Credit: PA

The Church said important life events can go ahead despite the Covid-19 outbreak, but must be "very significantly scaled back" so people can follow the Government’s social distancing advice.

Couples are being advised to "stream" their ceremony to absent friends and family, and the Church says it will work with those who wish to rearrange.

The Bishop of Manchester, Dr David Walker, said: "Couples and parents, friends and families will have been planning for months, even years for their special moment, whether a wedding or a christening."

Visitors to a care home in Seattle practice cope with social distancing measures by talking through a window. Credit: AP

The latest advice recommends similar measures for baptisms - with numbers restricted to the child, their parents, guardians or carers, godparents and the minister.

The priest should not hold the child and water should be administered with an "appropriate implement" such as a shell.

It adds that only clergy and parents should join the individual being baptised at the font, with godparents maintaining a social distance.

The Church says it will assist families looking to rearrange planned ceremonies. Credit: PA

Dr David Walker added: "Now it can go ahead - but with only the minimum required in attendance. You may need to cancel or postpone.

"Whatever decision is made, God’s love and blessing will still surround all those who would have been there that day."

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