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UK News

London bishops issue 'painful' request to stop streaming services from church buildings

by Press Association

Vicars have been urged to stop live streaming services from their empty churches over the Easter weekend, with the country remaining in lockdown following the Covid-19 outbreak.

The London College of Bishops said it was making the "painful" request to the clergy ahead of the Easter weekend, one of the most significant times in the Christian calendar.

In a statement, the bishops said: "It feels extremely hard to ask this of you, this week of all weeks.

"But you will know that some people believe that being in our churches to stream, even if it is accessed by a door in your home, is encouraging others to want to travel to their church, and for others to ask for churches to be open to the public.

"We would not want to be seen to encourage any laxity in the requirement to stay indoors except for designated reasons, because this will save lives, and protect the NHS."

It follows appeals by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Church of England to follow social distancing rules to avoid the risk of spreading or being infected with coronavirus, with churches across the country forced to close.

Some services were able to be livestreamed by vicars where the church is accessible by an internal door from the clergy home.

However, the London College of Bishops has reiterated its desire for such facilities to stop.

The statement adds: "We know this will be difficult for some and we want to thank you for all that you are doing, for the sacrifices you are making, along with the many others in the country at the moment, and for the way in which many have creatively streamed worship from your own homes."


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