Am I safe to attend worship in the Cathedral

A personal Risk Assessment ‘Tool’ to help you decide whether to attend worship in the Cathedral

The Kirk Session is in no way attempting to decide or instruct on whether any member of the Congregation or regular worshiper in the Cathedral should or shouldn’t attend the limited Act of Worship which began in September. We are, however mindful of our responsibility to provide information to enable you to come to an informed choice about the risks associated with joining together with other worshipers in the Church.

This assessment ‘tool’  helps you to see how different risk factors may combine to give serious health complications should you catch the Covid-19 virus. It does not include the factors that may make you clinically extremely vulnerable, where you should be following the guidance for those who are ‘shielding’. It includes the factors where there is significant statistical evidence but does not include any rarer conditions which you may have, so this only offers a starting point. You may want to discuss the results with your doctor or with those who have expectations about your involvement with Church life.

We are not claiming medical expertise in sharing this way of scoring your risk but giving a way to show how serious catching the virus may be for you in your plan to begin attending worship in the Cathedral. Be assured that the Minister and Session, together with Historic Environment Scotland, are taking great care to minimise the risk, however it can never be zero.

Here then are a number of risk factors with a possible score to apply to each depending on your personal circumstances. This tool does not collect any information about you, and the Cathedral does not wish to know what your score might be. This is a personal method to help you come to the best conclusion as to whether you should attend Worship. To use it you will need to add up eight numbers.


Risk Factor Score
Your Age 50-59: score 1,
60-69: score 2,
70-79: score 4
and 80 and over: score 6.
Sex at birth Male: score 1,
Female: score 0
Ethnicity Caucasian: score  0,
Black African Descent: score 2
Indian Asian Descent, Filipino Descent, or other (including mixed race): score 1
Diabetes & Obesity Type 1 & 2 Diabetes: score 1,
Type 1 & 2 with presence of microvascular complications or HbA1c≥64mmol/mol: score  2,
A Body Mass Index of 35 or more: score 1
Online BMI calculator: (opens in a new window)
Cardiovascular disease Angina: score 1,
previous heart attack, stroke or Cardiac Intervention Heart Failure: score 2
Pulmonary (lung) disease Asthma: score 1,
Non-asthma chronic pulmonary disease: score 2,
Either of the above requiring oral corticosteroids in the last year: score 1
Malignant neoplasm (cancer) Active malignancy: score 3
Malignancy in remission: score 1
Rheumatological conditions All active treated conditions: score 2
Immunosuppressant therapies Any indication: score 2

A score of under 3 indicates a lower risk, but you should still be following the guidance for staying safe.

A score of 3-5 suggests a greater risk and you should consider ways of reducing your risk by taking additional precautions or avoiding some activities.

A score of 6 or more suggests a high risk and indicates that you should continue  participate in church life from your home.

The scoring is based on an article from the British Medical Association website. Risk Stratification tool for Healthcare workers during the Covid-19 Pandemic; using published data on demographics, co-morbid disease and clinical domain in order to assign biological risk: David Strain, Janusz Jankowski, Angharad Davies, Peter English, Ellis Friedman, Helena McKeown, Su Sethi, Mala Rao medRxiv 2020.05.05.20091967; doi: