News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Church News

Religious leaders not consulted over provisions for second national lockdown

by Press Association

Senior clergy members say they were not consulted over provisions for a second national lockdown and will write to the Government to question why "certain exemptions" have not been made.

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and the Bishop of London say they will also emphasise the "critical role" that churches play in the community.

In a letter written to the clergy of the Church of England (CoE), Justin Welby, Stephen Cottrell and Sarah Mullally praised the "energy, hard work and creativity" of members which had allowed worship to continue during the pandemic.

"We are grateful that the new guidelines being introduced on Thursday not only allow churches to remain open for private prayer but also enable online worship to be broadcast from the church building," they said.

"We were cautious about these issues during the first lockdown - perhaps overly so - but in this second lockdown we want to encourage church buildings to remain open for private prayer wherever possible."

The bishops said that more resources and training would be given to church leaders to enable them to conduct services online.

But they added that the use of sacraments was an integral part of physical services and should not be viewed as an "optional extra" by the Government.

"Worship online still means that the people of God do not have access to the sacraments which are so central to our life in Christ," they said.

"This is a huge loss and since we were not consulted about the lockdown provisions, we fully intend to speak with Government about why certain exemptions are made and not others, emphasising the critical role that churches play in every community.

"The sacramental life of the church cannot be seen as an optional extra.

"Nor can we separate out our worship from our service, it is always both and not either or.

"Nevertheless, we will of course abide by the law and ask you to do the same.

"We must do all that we can to keep our communities safe and to enable the NHS to manage this crisis."

A Monthly Gift Of $11 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 USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 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.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

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

News by email