At 10:00 a.m. this morning (March 24th 2020), the following statement was issued by the Methodist Church of Great Britain.
The Methodist Church has announced the closure of all its church buildings for the foreseeable future. The only exception will be for churches that are offering essential social outreach such as foodbanks, soup kitchens and night shelters, but these must be carried out closely within Government guidelines. The Methodist Church suspended worship services last week with some churches still opening for quiet prayer and reflection. This must now also be suspended. We would encourage people to use our online resources at home...
The full statement can be read here https://www.methodist.org.uk/about-us/coronavirus-guidance/
The Prime Minister was quite clear that churches are closed immediately (see poster here) and that baptisms, weddings and occasions for gathering can not take place. There does seem to be some sort of exemption with regard to funerals. However, they cannot take place in church and alternative arrangements will need to be made through Funeral Directors and in consultation with your Methodist Minister. Our church guidance does indicate that the church building can only be used as a last resort and that would assume all other avenues had been explored by Funeral Directors.
We are in a constantly changing world at the moment and are very much moving into a different way of life for some time to come. The situation is clearly varying almost day by day and it is therefore important that everyone keeps themselves up to date with the latest advice.
We continue to hold each other in our prayers.