Cardinal Nichols calls for open-air church over summer

Jun 16, 2020 by

by Heather Preston, Premier:

The Archbishop of Westminster has suggested open-air church services be held throughout the summer months as a next step after churches were allowed to open for private prayer on Saturday.

Last week the Government released new guidance to enable places of worship in England to open safely for private prayer for the first time since lockdown began.

The guidance defines individual prayer within a place of worship as “a person or household entering the venue to pray on their own and not as part of a group, led prayer or communal act”. It advises social distancing at all times, no food or drink, no sharing of Bibles, and no singing or playing or instruments, with the exception of an organist.

England’s most senior Catholic bishop, Cardinal Vincent Nichols said the opening for private prayer is vital for Christians and their mental well-being.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph he said: “People have been put into a world where their horizons have been shortened. Inner pressures have built up. Some people are focusing on the past and their failings and they need to step into a church where horizons will widen out again.

“This is a first step, a first toe in the water, so we are all a bit tentative and a bit anxious”.

A full reopening of church services is not expected to take place until at least 4th July as part of the Government’s third stage of lifting restrictions.

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