Extract from letter sent by Bishop John following the Government announcement on 4 January 2021

An extract from a message to the parishes from Bishop John:

“Following the PM’s announcement last night about the new lockdown, you will have noted that places of worship are allowed to remain open both for private prayer and public worship. I am glad that this is the case: as Theresa May said in the Commons last year, Governments closing churches by diktat, even for the best of reasons, sets a dangerous precedent.

Having said that, I want to make clear that there is no obligation either way: decisions should be taken locally. I shall support those who decide, after careful consideration of the risks involved, that their churches should be closed during this lockdown. Online worship can, of course, be streamed from them – or elsewhere – as an alternative. Where it is decided that churches are to remain open, risk assessments should be reviewed and, in particular, all mingling before and after worship must be most rigorously discouraged.”

The full letter can be read here: Message from Bishop John – 5 January 2021