News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

PA Wire / Andrew Milligan
PA Wire / Andrew Milligan
Congregation in masks in church covid coronavirus St Andrews Cathedral Glasgow church Credit PA Wire Andrew Milligan.jpg
UK News

Covid-19: Churches to remain open despite renewed lockdown across northern England

Churches in the north of England will be permitted to remain open as the government orders a renewed lockdown across the region amid a spike in Covid-19 infections. 

On Thursday night, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that those residing in Greater Manchester, east Lancashire and parts of Yorkshire must once again stop meeting people from other households in a bid to slow the rates of transmission. Churches, however, will be allowed to remain open for public worship on the proviso that social distancing and sanitation measures are adhered to.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: "Whilst communal prayers can go ahead, it is important that the venue is COVID-19 Secure and all attendees maintain social distancing from anyone you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble." 

A support bubble is defined as when "a single adult living alone, or a single parent with children under 18" forms an "exclusive network with one other household where social distancing does not have to be observed". 

The government's lockdown announcement comes as Muslims across the country prepare to celebrate Eid, with many expressing frustration that pubs and restaurants are allowed to remain open while household gatherings — a key feature of Eid festivities — are prohibited.

The Muslim Council of Britain's secretary general, Harun Khan, said: "With the first day of Eid being today, for Muslims in the affected areas, it is like being told they cannot visit family and friends for Christmas on Christmas Eve itself." 

He added: "The UK Government has failed to provide clarity on the shockingly short notice and the reasoning behind the new rules that British Muslims deserve."

Hancock told Radio 4's Today Programme: "My heart goes out to the Muslim communities in these areas because I know how important the Eid celebrations are.

"I'm very grateful to the local Muslim leaders, the imams in fact, across the country who've been working so hard to find a way to have Covid-secure celebrations.

"For instance celebrating Eid in parks where there's more space available and of course outdoors is safer than indoors."

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of £8 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the UK is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of £8 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Set up a monthly gift

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.