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Coronavirus (COVID-19) How it affects Church

On this page you will find details from the Church of England, the Government and Public Health England on COVID-19 and what we are doing at St Mary’s in the current situation.


The ongoing restrictions that are being imposed both from national government and from the Church of England in response to the growing pandemic mean that the church is currently closed both for public worship and private prayer until further notice. Mass continues to be celebrated daily (at the Vicarage) as well as the usual pattern of prayer, Please join in wherever you are. A link to some of the resources available is below.

Prayer Resources

Various prayer resources are becoming available online to be used whilst we are unable to gather together for worship. Amongst such resources are those produced by the Church of England and the Church Union . There are also a number of digital resources available on the CofE website.

Sunday Worship

Sunday worship will be livestreamed every Sunday (beginning from 29th March) at 10:00 on the parish Facebook page. (Please be patient with us as we get used to the technology.)

Keeping in Touch

Fr. Mark writes: in these challenging times it is important that we make every effort to keep in touch to support each other. You can contact me by telephone 01903 724410 or by email We will also endeavour to keep this website and our Facebook page updated regularly.

17/03/2020 22:00 UPDATE

From now until further notice there will be no public worship at St Mary’s Littlehampton. The church will remain open for private prayer. If you are using the church for private prayer please adhere to the guidance on social distancing below and please use the hand sanitisers provided.

17/03/2020 10:00

CONVID-19 Government Guidance

Church of England

Latest Information from the Church of England

What we are doing at St Mary’s

Services continue as normal until future notice

  • Communion only offered in the form of bread
    The priest will drink from the chalice but it will not be offered to others
  • Peace will only be said to each other
    There is NO direct physical contact should be made but smiling and saying the peace should continue
  • Laying on of hands
    There is NO direct physical contact will be given however a blessing may still be given

Communion will be administered at the Chancel step to avoid contact with the altar rail.

After the service clergy will still congregate at the back of church to welcome and chat with people but will not shake hands or make physical contact

Holy water stoups and font will not be used until such restrictions are lifted

There will be no tea or coffee on Sunday morning after the service and no soup lunch will be provided after Station of the Cross on Fridays

Good hygiene

At the heart of the fight against the spread of the virus is personal hygiene.

  1. Ensure everyone maintains good hygiene (we should be doing this already as part of normal good practice) at all gatherings, whether services or other occasions. This include those handing out books, as well as those administering the Eucharist.
    Hand gel has been provided at the entrance and there is a good supply of soap and hand gel in the cloakrooms
  2. The best way of protecting us from the spread of ANY virus is for everyone to use universal good hygiene, – this means everyone, all the time, which will effectively disrupt the spread of the virus.
    Catch it – sneeze into a tissue.
    Bin it – bin the tissue
    Kill it – wash your hands
    Don’t touch your face – unless you’ve washed your hand

Ere on the side of caution

If you have symptoms that cause you concern please follow Government and Public Health England guidance. Even if you have only mild symptoms of a cold please be conscious of other fellow worshippers.