Churches across England have reopened their doors for public Sunday services after more than three months of online worship during lockdown.
Places of worship welcomed their first congregations on Saturday after lockdown measures were eased to allow public services to recommence.
Worshippers were asked to observe hygiene and social distancing guidance, including changes to singing and Holy Communion, during services.
At York Minster, which reopened for evening prayer on Saturday after being closed since March 16, worshippers were limited in number and asked to leave their names and contact details.
Staff and clergy wore face masks and visors to welcome visitors, a one-way system was in place and hand sanitiser was available.
Ahead of the reopening, the Minster said services will be simpler and shorter initially, with changes including no congregational singing, hand-shaking or drinking from the common cup during Holy Communion.
The cathedral reopened for individual prayer on June 16 and will welcome sightseers from July 11.
The Dean of York, the Right Rev Dr Jonathan Frost, said: “We are delighted to open our doors again to welcome people for public worship and to explore this magnificent sacred space.
“Over the last few weeks we have welcomed many for individual prayer, but to gather again for worship – with relevant physical distancing measures in place – will be a huge encouragement for many.”
In Swanmore, Hampshire, St Barnabas Church overcame restrictions surrounding singing by holding a drive-in “Songs of Praise-style service”.
Around 40 cars gathered in the village hall car park on Sunday morning to take part in the service, led by Reverend Claire Towns.
Coming up tomorrow: our diocese's first ever drive-in service. St Barnabas, Swanmore, will open the church for worship at 8am, followed by a drive-in service in the village hall car park, where singing will be allowed. Read about it here: https://t.co/0F5n6igseL pic.twitter.com/ddryptU0TK— Portsmouth Diocese (@CofEPortsmouth) July 4, 2020
Participants were asked to book places beforehand, choose their favourite hymns and songs and sing within their cars with members of their own household.
Rev Towns said: “We decided that we wanted to offer people the chance to sing, as that is an important part of Christian worship.”
She added: “For people in the village, it’s another sign that the church is at the heart of this community.”
A post on the church’s Facebook page said: “We had around 40 cars for our drive-in Songs of Praise…the sun shone, the musicians played and sang…it was fab! Thank you to everyone who made it happen.”