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Church News

Lockdown: Collective worship could take place from 4th July

by Press Association

Faith Minister Lord Stephen Greenhalgh has said collective worship will not take place in the UK before 4th July.

Speaking to the Religion Media Centre's (RMC) briefing on how the government is working with faith communities, Lord Greenhalgh said discussions with faith leaders had been "very difficult".

Asked when communal worship could return, he said: "The earliest possible moment would be at step three which is July 4."

Lord Greenhalgh added: "We need to recognise that some form of collective or public worship is happening pretty much everywhere else apart from the United Kingdom and I think we just need to be ready by July 4, in terms of having the guidance ready to go.

"It's also been stated by a number of faith leaders that some places of worship are cathedrals and others are slightly smaller places and therefore the guidance needs to be flexible with the fact that a place of worship is not the same.

"We've got cathedrals and very small places, and therefore the actual decision about when a place is safe is down to not the government but its the places of worship themselves."

Churches and other places of worship are set to open for private prayer from 15th June following an announcement from the Government.

Individuals are expected to be able to "reflect and pray" while adhering to social-distancing rules.

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