Yesterday, in Parliament, the Prime Minister announced a whole raft of measures to ease the current lockdown restrictions, including one in particular, that will be of special interest to churches and church leaders. As from the 4th July places of worship will be allowed to reopen.
This is what was said in the actual announcement:
“I know that many have mourned the closure of places of worship, and this year, Easter, Passover and Eid all occurred during the lockdown. So I am delighted that places of worship will be able to reopen for prayer and services – including weddings with a maximum of 30 people, all subject to social distancing.”
Admittedly, and out of necessity, the announcement is thin on detail and we will have to await the publication of the detailed “Covid-secure guidelines” that have been promised for “every sector that is re-opening.” Early indications are however, that singing may well not be allowed, as singing is seen as a… “particular danger”.
In the same announcement Community Centres are also being allowed to reopen. It will be interesting to see, once the guidelines are available, what other church activities might also be allowed on our premises.
Each church will need to review the guidelines in the light of their own context, conduct their own risk assessment and make their own decision as to how practical and safe it us for them to reopen at this stage.
Follow this link to read the Prime Ministers announcement in full.
John Jenkins, Partnership Regional Coordinator London and South East England