Coronavirus Guidance April 2021



The Chapels Royal, HM Tower of London
Policy during the Coronavirus Pandemic

(updated April 2021)



In accordance with Government* and Church of England** guidance, the Chapel of St Peter-ad-Vincula is now open for public services. Although the White Tower is closed, permission to hold the 0915 service there in the Chapel of St John the Evangelist on the first Sunday of the month, has been exceptionally granted by the Tower authorities. Advance booking for all services is still required and Stewards and Sextons are authorised to check that those attending are on the list and otherwise to ensure the smooth running of services. Their instructions must be followed.  All advance administration is conducted by the Chapel Administrator (see below).

At present, St Peter’s can accommodate approximately 40 people, not including those officiating at services.  Family, household and other bubbles account for the adjustments required when calculating numbers attending. All of this policy is supported and endorsed by the Tower authorities.

The following requirements are still in place when attending services

  1. Advance booking for attendance at all services is required, by Friday immediately before the Sunday service.
  1. Those attending services should not mingle in groups before or after the service but should at all times maintain appropriate distancing. (Nationally, where the spread of infection has been linked to religious services, it has mostly been because of such mingling, rather than from participation in the service itself.) 
  1. It is a legal requirement that masks must be worn in the chapel except by those with a medical exemption, which they should be prepared to show on request. Clergy and choir are to follow Church of England guidelines on mask-wearing as amended from time to time. These state that it is acceptable to remove masks when speaking or singing, provided that suitable distance is maintained from others when unmasked.
  1. On entering the Chapel, all attending should clean their hands with the sanitiser provided.
  1. Holy Communion is administered with full observance of hand cleansing, mask-wearing and avoidance of other possible routes of cross-infection.  Similarly, the congregation receive Communion in only one kind (bread only: no wine).
  1. The reception of Holy Communion by the congregation is as directed by the Chapel Stewards.
  1. Congregational (communal) singing is still not allowed.
  1. A collection is not taken during the service but a contactless machine is available at the back of the chapel, along with the donation box.
  1. All those attending services in the Chapels are encouraged to take Lateral Flow Tests one day in advance (that is, on Saturdays).  These tests are now available free of charge to everyone for use at home.  The clergy will self-administer Lateral Flow Tests both mid-week and on Saturdays and, in the event of a positive result, will not attend.
  1. Hospitality after the service can still not take place.
  1. In the event of a Covid case in the chapel, all people - i.e. those who have attended the chapel on any particular date - will be contacted as soon as possible to alert them and advise them to get tested.


*COVID-19: guidance for the safe use of places of worship - GOV.UK (

** COVID 19 advice on conducting public worship v3.1.pdf (