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Churches stay closed

by Michael Ford last modified 02 Apr, 2020 07:04 PM

Meanwhile the Archbishops and Bishops have written to clergy reaffirming their guidance on the closure of church buildings to help reduce the spread of the virus.

Churches stay closed


The letter makes clear that while the Government rules currently permit church buildings to be used for funerals within strict limits, Church of England funerals nevertheless must only take place by a graveside or in a crematorium. They explain that medical advice clearly indicates that holding a funeral in a church in the current situation “represents an additional layer of risk” of transmission.

“Of course this is costly, but we believe the cost is less likely to be in human lives,” they write.

The bishops have also given serious consideration to their recent guidance preventing clergy entering churches to live-stream an act of worship, but concluded the restriction must stay in place.

“Not being able to use our church buildings is, of course, a huge loss to us all,” they write.

“We are aware that for many clergy it is hard not to be able to pray and worship in their church building; and for many lay people, not even being able to see worship going on in their church building is difficult.

“Streaming worship from home shows that we are alongside those who are having to self-isolate and those who are forgoing so many other things in their lives that they used to rely on.

“It also shows that we are facing up to the same restrictions as them and doing all that we can to take a lead in encouraging people to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.

“Moreover, to pray from and in the home may help us to show that the Church is, as we all know, us, the people of God, not our buildings.”

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