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Aberdeen minister encourages city to 'unite in prayer' as second lockdown enforced

by Ruth Sax

As Aberdeen returns to lockdown a minister is encouraging the city to "unite in prayer".

As of Thursday, 54 people who have tested positive gave the details of 191 people they have been in contact with.

Aberdeen Presbytery Moderator, Rev Hutton Steel told Premier: "Most citizens in the city are obviously disappointed because we had been enjoying the easing of the restrictions of lockdown, so that there's disappointment, but we just have to, once again pull together and a find are way back to the position that we were in and support each other and do as much as we can to protect each other too."

Nicola Sturgeon announced the tightening of restrictions in Aberdeen on Wednesday after cases in the city rose sharply.

Bars, cafes and restaurants will remain shut for at least seven days.

Extra police have been sent to the city to help increase patrols, but the first minister said she hoped compliance would be voluntary.

Rev Steel told Premier it'll be challenging as the Church of Scotland has been working to reopen churches again and now ones in Aberdeen will have to put those plans on hold.

"We are keeping in touch with congregations through social media and even phone calls for perhaps more elderly members who don't have that. So that will continue so there won't be a change in that and we want to give people as much reassurance as we can and as much pastoral supporter as possible.

"Prayer has been one of the main stays of this whole process and we take great comfort from that. Not only that we in Aberdeen are being supported but the whole Christian community is praying for each other and that is a uniting and binding force."

Rev Steel encourages people to trust in God: "I would like to say to the folk in Aberdeen to trust in God, to trust in his Son. Psalm 46 tells us that 'God is our refuge and our strength and our help at times of trouble' and these are the things that we that we are looking to. 

"We are looking to God for protection and for guidance and for inspiration, and with a God and his son beside us. Then we can once again move forward and put this period of time a behind us."

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