London Mayor Sadiq Khan urges Johnson to close places of worship as Covid cases surge

Jan 11, 2021 by

by Harriet Sherwood, Guardian: Places of worship in the capital should shut immediately because of the risks of Covid infection, Sadiq Khan has said, amid signs that churches, mosques and synagogues are already closing their doors. In a letter to the prime minister setting out his reasons for declaring a major incident in London, the mayor urged Boris Johnson to order places of worship to close, among other measures to tackle the crisis. Under the lockdown restrictions, places of worship in...

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Why are more Christians “chalking the door” during lockdown and what is it?

Jan 7, 2021 by

from the Church of England website: The once rare tradition of “chalking the door” has become an increasingly common sight in in the UK – and is even thriving amid tightening lockdown restrictions. Christians use chalk, which has been blessed, to write the letters “CMB” and the calendar year on their doorway in a traditional Epiphany celebration. The letters represent the traditional names of the Magi – Caspar, Melchior, Balthazar – and could also stand for the Latin blessing: “Christus...

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It is unsafe to keep our churches open, clergy say

Jan 7, 2021 by

by Pat Ashworth and Hattie Williams, Church Times: THE Government’s exemption of public worship in the new lockdown, which started on Wednesday, is meeting resistance from clergy in areas where the number of coronavirus infections is highest. At least one diocese, Chelmsford, has recommended that all services go online only. On Monday night, the Prime Minister announced a third lockdown in response to rapidly rising Covid-19 infection rates, hospital admissions, and deaths. The new...

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England lockdown: Church leaders welcome continued public worship but urge caution

Jan 6, 2021 by

by Tola Mbakwe, Premier: Church leaders have welcomed permission for communal worship under England’s new lockdown, but some have urged people to take “tremendous care” and advised those shielding to stay at home. According to Government guidance issued on Monday night, places of worship can remain open for individual prayer and communal worship. But rules say people should only meet their household or support bubble and not mingle with others outside these groups. Weddings...

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Canadian church pens epic response after police charge six elders for holding services in defiance of lockdowns

Jan 5, 2021 by

by Joel Abbott, Not the Bee: Canadian police pressed charges against all six elders of Trinity Bible Chapel in Breslau, Ontario for holding services last Sunday. All six elders must now appear in criminal court, where they could face a fine of $10,000. Here was the church’s epic response: “We are peaceful family men seeking to pastorally care for our families and our church in sincere obedience to God. We are not criminals. Officers from the Waterloo Region Police Service (WRPS)...

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If the Church of England worships online, how can its historic buildings survive?

Jan 4, 2021 by

by Simon Jenkins, Guardian: Congregations have shown great adaptability in the pandemic, and churches could again be at the heart of British life. We all know the future. It is online, home delivery, click and collect, view on demand. It is goodbye high street; farewell butcher, baker and Bricklayer’s Arms. But is it also goodbye church? Normally Christmas is bumper season, not just for toyshops and turkey farmers. Three times more Britons – 2.3 million – go to church on Christmas Day than on...

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