We Will Fail If The Church Returns To Business As Usual

Daily Express|July 01, 2020

We Will Fail If The Church Returns To Business As Usual
With the zealotry of some particularly militant secularists, the Church of England was all too swift to lock its churches at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March. But it’s proving very slow to offer any guidance to vicars like me on reopening our churches for services this weekend.
George Pitcher

Some 10 days on from Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement that places of worship can reopen to congregations from this Saturday, July 4, we still await the new rules for services from our bishops.

If I go to the Church of England’s website (“updated Tuesday, 30 June” – yesterday), it still tells me that “currently there can be no weddings in church buildings until further notice”. That will come as a surprise to couples wanting to marry this Saturday, as they’re told they can.

The Government’s website has been rather more helpful with its guidance, including the rubric that “people should not wash the body parts of others”.

I will try to resist that. More usefully, it tells us to restrict congregations to 30. It also tells us that the over-70s should stay at home. With our demographic profile, I fear that will leave many of our churches empty.

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July 01, 2020