Local councils in England accused of ‘pressuring’ churches to stop public worship

Jan 11, 2021 by

By Marcus Jones, Premier:

It’s emerged that churches in England are getting conflicting guidance on whether to open for corporate worship.

When the national lockdown was announced by the Prime Minister earlier this week, there was a clear exception given to places of worship. In the guidance, published online, the government states: “You can attend places of worship for a service. However, you must not mingle with anyone outside of your household or support bubble. You should maintain strict social distancing at all times.”

This week, however, church leaders from across the country have been receiving letters from local councils and public health bodies asking or “strongly encouraging” them to move their services online


Rev Pastor Ade Omooba (MBE), co-founder of Christian Concern, said: “It is clear that In England, the decision on whether to hold public worship is now in the hands of church leaders, which we have campaigned for since last March. Although it is good for churches and local government to dialogue, it is inappropriate for councils to put pressure on churches to stop meeting as if it is their decision to make.

“Churches throughout the UK have demonstrated their responsibility – and indeed their safety – throughout the pandemic. It is right that church leaders continue to be trusted to decide if and how to meet, given their local circumstances and the needs of their members.

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