Lockdown UK: only in Scotland is public worship prohibited (except for the rich)

Jan 6, 2021 by

by Archbishop Cranmer:

Epiphany 2021. The Wise Men have arrived in the guise of SAGE – the wisest of the wise. If we follow the star of science and heed their advice, coronavirus infection rates will fall, hospital admissions decrease, and the NHS will be saved, as will we all. Or most of us will. So here we go again. More weeks of suspended animation, more months of haunting isolation, and more deprivations of the necessities of life, like moments of intimacy and the occasional hug. It’s fine if you live in a large house with a nice garden and have no school-age children, but if you’re a single parent working from home in a one-bedroom flat trying to home-school three screaming kids, you have a glimpse of purgatory.

This time it’s a little different, however: the churches are open, and public worship continues. Communion and the proclamation of the gospel continue – unless you live in Scotland, where the secularist SNP have disunited the Kingdom (again), as though they have a motive beyond beating Covid-19 into a corner.

The Church of England is open for public worship, the Church in Wales is open for public worship, and the Church of Ireland is open for public worship. The precise numbers who may meet in each building are variable, but provided social distancing is adhered to and masks are worn (and people don’t gossip at the back of the church after the service), the people of God can come and go, and the bells may still be rung. Unlike the March lockdown, the Archbishop of Canterbury is permitting clergy to enter and leave as they wish. This time the churches are pastorally open for ministry; they are little arks of salvation in the Covid climate; here to love, serve and reify the holiness of God.

But the Church of Scotland is closed, and the Church in Scotland is closed. If you dare to gather to worship God in Bonkle, North Lanarkshire, you’ll get fined £60. Perhaps it’s worth the sacrificial offering. But if you do it again, it increases to £120 and doubles with each repeat offence up to to £960, where the fine is capped. So public worship in Scotland is possible if you’re rich.

Read here

Please right-click links to open in a new window.

Related Posts


Share This