Church weddings and baptisms are off in locked-down Britain

Boris Johnson(Photo: Sky News)

Weddings and baptisms can no longer be held in churches under drastic new social distancing measures being imposed by the Government.

It overturns guidance issued by the Church of England just days ago saying that weddings and baptisms could still take place amid the coronavirus pandemic as long as the number of people present was limited to five. 

Now, however, leaders in the Church of England are telling people to stay home in light of the changes announced on Monday evening. 

The social distancing measures also mean that church buildings must now close with immediate effect.

Last week, churches had been told to suspend public worship but were encouraged to keep their doors open for people to come in for private prayer. Under the new guidance, that will no longer be possible.

Funerals will still be able to go ahead but with only the closest members of the family present.

In a joint statement, the bishops of the Church of England urged everyone to follow the official guidance. 

"We will give a fuller statement of advice as soon as possible. Let us continue to pray, to love, to care for the vulnerable, and build our communities, even while separated," they said.