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Politics

MP thanks every church in his constituency

by Cara Bentley

An MP has written to every church in his constituency to thank them for their efforts during lockdown. 

Andrew Bowie has praised churches for supplying foodbanks, ringing up people on their own and embracing technology to keep their services going. 

The Conservative Member of Parliament for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine wrote on Twitter: "Today I've written to every church in West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine thanking them for the incredible efforts they've gone to in order to keep congregations connected and support the vulnerable in our communities through the Lockdown."

 

Bowie told Premier he wanted each one to know they were providing crucial support: "I think the immense outpouring of goodwill from churches around the constituency and the huge efforts that they're going to - not just to keep their congregations in touch with each other which is a vital part of so many people's lives, and not just in terms of reaffirming their faith being a crucial point of social contact for so many - but the work that members of churches and church organisations are doing in terms of supporting the vulnerable in the elderly, I thought it was just important that I expressed my gratitude on behalf of everybody that they've helped over the recent periods, so that they knew that we were aware and that we were very grateful."

The 32-year-old has been MP for the area since 2017 and attends a Church of Scotland congregation himself. 

 

On Thursday, Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, announced an easing of lockdown rules, allowing eight people to meet outside whilst social distancing as part of the first phase of the lockdown in Scotland. Churches are not expected to return for a while though. 

Mr Bowie commented: "I think it would be great if we saw churches reopening as soon as possible. However, I'm fully aware of the risks that that would entail. It's possible in some cases to ensure social distancing measures but until we're in a position where we can say to people 'it's absolutely safe, you can attend church,' whilst maintaining social distance guidelines, then I think that, as difficult as it is, I think churches should probably, very sadly, have to keep their doors closed until the medical and scientific advice proves otherwise. 

"But as churches have demonstrated through their ability to keep in touch with congregations across the country, I think that it doesn't really matter whether you're in a church building, you can still practice your Christian faith, wherever in the world you are."

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