The Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, has welcomed the Government's decision to allow supervised prayer inside churches. From the 15th June, individuals will be permitted to pray privately in churches and other places of worship in England, according to newly issued guidance in related to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.
At the weekend, Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick, tweeted the good news: “Pleased to announce that from 15 June, places of worship will be able to open for individual prayer. Thank you to all the faith leaders who are working with me to ensure this is done safely. I know that for millions across the country this news has been long awaited.”
Bishop Sarah, chair of the Church of England’s Recovery Group, responded: “We welcome the Government’s announcement today that church buildings can open up for supervised individual prayer from June 15. This is the start of the journey for church buildings to open up safely in line with Government advice and we look forward to their detailed guidance on enabling this first step to happen.
"Advice has already been circulated to all our dioceses to enable local churches to plan ahead for opening up for individual prayer. Our advice recognises that a particular local church may or may not be able to open at the same time as others and collaborative working between local churches is encouraged. A simple risk assessment template has been provided.
"Throughout this crisis churches have been serving their communities in a range of practical ways but this announcement recognises that the buildings themselves are important sacred spaces for people. We also remember all at this time who mourn the loss of a loved one who died during the crisis and recognise that this is a fragile time in the prevention of the spread of this virus.
"We look forward to when it is safe for our church buildings once again to become meeting places for worship, prayer and all they do to serve and bless their communities.”
The Government has yet to give any further information on the full reopening of churches for worship services as shops and businesses prepare to open up their doors again from next Monday. Last month, Dominic Raab told the BBC that church services would not be permitted to resume "at least until July 4."