Faith, worship and funerals

Places of worship, funerals, ceremonies and faith organisations

Updated 8 March 2021

Places of worship

Under the new lockdown rules places of worship can stay open. But they should remain closed if they are not able to safely adhere to the new guidelines. See national guidance on the safe use of places of worship.

Places of worship in Essex can now re-open if they strictly follow the national guidance. They should assess the risks, make adjustments and be confident they can open safely before they do open. Read the Directors of Public Health’s latest advice to places of worship in Greater Essex.


  • Funerals must have no more than 30 people attending. This is the most allowed by law whether inside or outside the venue. Venues may have a lower limit, depending on their capacity.
  • Commemorative events must have no more than six people. Examples are wakes and stone-settings.
  • You must not mingle with people outside your household or support bubble. You should not linger outside the venue before or after the event.
  • Burials and cremations are both permitted.

Read the government guidance for arranging or attending a funeral during the coronavirus pandemic.
Some cemeteries and crematoria can web-cast the funeral for family and friends. Please check with your local cemetery or crematorium.


Marriages and civil partnerships can go ahead but only in exceptional circumstances. Visit guidance for weddings.
Other lifecycle ceremonies may only take place if they are an element of communal worship. They should meet the requirements for communal worship in the national guidelines.

Faith and community organisations

Bahai Community in the UK
Baptist Union of Great Britain
Catholic Church England and Wales
Church of England's guidance for churches
C of E Diocese of Chelmsford for local guidance to parishes
Faith Action is a national network of faith-based and community organisations)
Hindu Forum of Britiain
Humanists UK
Jewish Leadership Council, coronavirus portal
Methodist Church UK
Muslim Council of Britain
Network of Buddhist Organisations
Sikh Council UK

To contact Essex Resilience Forum’s Faith & Communities Tactical Co-ordination Group, email

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