Let priests pray in their churches

May 4, 2020 by

by Giles Fraser, UnHerd:

Tomorrow the bishops of the Church of England will meet to consider the growing opposition to their policy of banning clergy from saying prayers in their churches.

To recap: on 24 March the Archbishops of Canterbury and York wrote to the clergy of the Church of England with the following instruction: “Our church buildings must now be closed not only for public worship, but for private prayer as well and this includes the priest or lay person offering prayer in church on their own.”

The guidance of the government makes it specifically clear that clergy are allowed into their churches on their own to pray and to broadcast prayer. And the Roman Catholics and other churches continue to do so. But the C of E has banned its clergy from doing this, in some Dioceses with the threat of disciplinary action hanging over those who do.

The deep unhappiness about this continues to grow. Today a letter was sent to The Times signed by hundreds of clergy and lay people complaining about the current restrictions. And as the resistance grows so too does the counter-resistance — with arguments from those defending the official line appearing all over social media.

These arguments are interesting, not least because almost none of them mention safety. After all, if a priest is allowed out of his or her house to go for a run, why can’t s/he run to an empty church and say their prayers. Some of us even have Rectories connected to the church. There is, of course, no real health and safety argument.

Here is a precis of some of the arguments that have emerged defending the official line.

Read here


Related Posts


Share This