We are mindful of the care being taken by Government to implement measures to protect the public from further infection by Covid-19 at this time of crisis, but we call for the immediate re-opening of churches, in order to best care for the spiritual needs of the nation.
For over fourteen hundred years Christianity has been the accepted faith of our land. Indeed, Christianity first arrived on our shores in the 1st century, carried by traders and artisans from Rome. Our society and laws are founded on Christian values and belief, and in 1534 the Church of England became the established Church of this land. In times of crisis and fear, our churches have provided refuge and spiritual solace. Throughout the plague years, despite the death of many priests, the churches remained open, committed to bringing solace to the community. During every war that has afflicted our nation over the last 1400 years, the churches have similarly remained open.
With garden centres and DIY stores now joining supermarkets in providing service to the community, there is no reason for churches to remain closed. At the very least, with proper provision for maintained social distancing, they should be open on a daily basis for individual prayer and reflection. For those who wish physically to attend, again observing maintained social distancing, they should also be open for attendance at Sunday services and services throughout the week.
It is important that in this time of crisis people should be free to seek spiritual solace. We therefore call, with proper and agreed safeguards, for the immediate re-opening of churches throughout the UK.