The Minster Church of St Denys will open for public worship on Sunday 12th July 2020 at 9.30am. The service will be livestreamed through the Worship in Warminster FaceBook page for those who are unable to attend. Other churches in the benefice will remain closed.

For the time being, the church will only be open for public worship on Sundays. We hope to increase this as we feel it is safe to do so. Other weekly services will continue to be livestreamed on the FaceBook page.


The church building will be open on Wednesdays from 10.00 - 4.00 pm. Please observe social distancing and follow all instructions carefully so that we may continue to keep everyone safe. 

FROM THE RECTOR - An update on where we stand at this moment

Many of you have heard the government’s pronouncement about churches, worship and the easing of lockdown. 

Church open for private prayer and quiet reflection

As of June 13th, churches are permitted to open for private prayer and quiet reflection but not for tourism or communal worship.   Churches are not obligated to open, and many have chosen to remain closed.   For churches that do open, it is paramount that all involved are kept safe and that social distancing is observed.

It is decided that St Mary Upton Scudamore will remain closed for the time being.

The Minster is opened on Wednesday’s only from 10 am to 4 pm.  There are simple instructions about washing of hands and keeping social distancing and we ask you to observe these.  For reasons of safety many parts of the church have been “roped off” and you cannot light candles.  We’ve also withdrawn the toilets from public use.  We do apologise for this, but it is in the interest of the safety of everyone who visits or works in the church building.  It is also felt that the church does not have the needed resources and people to open more often.

Communal Worship permitted as of July 4th.

Communal worship will be permitted from July 4th (a Saturday).  At the moment we are still waiting for government directives which will determine the guidance the house of Bishops gives us to resume public worship (as I write on June 26th, we are still waiting).

It’s unlikely that any of the churches in the benefice, including Upton and the Minster, will be ready to resume communal worship by Sunday July 5th or perhaps even the following Sunday.  Also, there will be members of the congregation who will not be able to or won’t yet feel safe to return.   We will continue to live stream the Sunday worship and perhaps even the weekday services in some form, even after we’ve returned to communal worship (how and for long we do this will depend on circumstances).  There are issues of canon law arising from the requirement that worship must take place in a parish (I will spare you and I the details) but the House of Bishops has assured us that they will ensure we only return to worship when we feel it is safe to do so.

There will be certain limits to what we can do and precautions to be taken.  It’s likely we won’t be able to sing and communion will be bread only.  It’s not clear if singing will be banned outright but it will be strongly discouraged.  We will have to social distance and wash our hands (sanitizers will be available).  But we await government guidelines to guide us.

Baptisms, Weddings, Funerals

Baptisms, to my knowledge, are not yet permitted.  When they are permitted, I suspect they will follow similar guidelines as to funerals.

Weddings, from July 4th, can take place in church (and other locations) but will be limited to 30 people which presumably includes the minister and anyone else helping in managing the wedding.

Unlike communal worship, by the legal nature of the beast, churches must be ready to do weddings (i.e. it is not a permissive instruction but an obligatory one) since people have the right to be married in church.  If singing is not permitted in communal worship, then it will also not be permitted in weddings (or funerals for that matter).

Funerals are also now permitted in church, but the guidance is not as clear cut as weddings.  There is no explicit limiting number of participants; proper social distancing, the size of the church and an element of common sense will decide.   Again, people’s safety, that is the mourners, the funeral directors’ staff and the people leading the service, is paramount.

Baptisms, Weddings and funerals are (will be) subject to guidelines issued by the House of Bishops and guidelines from the government.

If you have any questions about this then please contact me on 01985 213456 or email me on rector.riverwereben@gmail.com

These are difficult and uncertain times.  I am eternally grateful to my colleagues, lay and ordained, for their hard work and patience in this time.  I am thankful to all of you for your patience, your support and your participation.  We continue to pray for all who are anxious, those who are unwell and those who mourn in these extraordinary times.


Welcome to the parish church of St Denys the Minster Warminster.

We are a worshipping community in the Church of England and the world wide Anglian communityin the Diocese of Salisbury. We are a place of prayer where many have prayed and worshipped over the centuries, celebrating their joys and mourning their losses.

We invite you to browse through our website and all other related websites. Do feel free to contact us.

We invite you to visit us anytime and to take part in the various activities that take place in the church, to join us in our worship or just to enjoy the peace and solitude of this beautiful and holy building.


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What's Happening

4th Sep…BENEFICE WEEKEND 2020

Group Activities

Minster Church open for personal prayer Wednesdays 10.00am to 4.00pm.

Services

The Church will open for public worship on Sunday 12th July 2020 at 9.30am. For those unable to attend the service will be live-streamed on the Worship in Warminster FaceBook page. This service will not be available on Zoom. 

For the time being, the church will only be open for public worship on Sundays. We will continue to livestream services on Facebook as we have been doing throughout lockdown on other days.

You can find our Facebook page, Worship in Warminster at:


https://www.facebook.com/WorshipinWarminster/
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