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UK News

Church services may not be back to normal by end of the year, according to senior bishop

by Tola Mbakwe

The bishop in charge of planning how the Church of England will re-open its buildings has said worshippers will have to get used to a new normal for "some time to come."

Rt Rev Sarah Mullally, the Bishop of London told the BBC that there will probably be major changes to how Anglicans do church services due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

"I don't envisage, even up to the end of the year, we will be back to our normal services," she said.

"We'll have some churches doing things differently. And of course, this approach will depend on the part of the country you are in. 

"Being in Devon is very different to being in the centre of London. So we need to approach this based on our local circumstances," she said.

Bishop Sarah added that there will be come "challenging questions" the Church will have to address about many aspects of Christian worship including singing and receiving Communion. 

She said It's vital that the Church support people in their spiritual life but "the future will look different."

"When we open our church buildings, we will still have to ensure physical distancing," she told the BBC. 

"We'll have to make sure people can wash their hands on the way in and on the way out. We are likely not to be able to use hymn books or service sheets or sing."

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has said it is still too early to reopen religious services, with no date for when that could happen.

Earlier in the week, Church of England leaders said churches could reopen in a "phased" way once lockdown measures begin to be lifted.

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