Churches could start to reopen from 4 July, according to the Government, although it is conditional on scientific advice and it being safe to do so.
The details emerged in the UK Government’s ‘Plan to Rebuild’, which sets out the recovery from COVID-19 plan.
There are a number of phases in the gradual reopening of society and ‘places of worship’ are mentioned alongside hairdressers and some food service providers as part of phase 3.
If churches are allowed to reopen from 4 July, strict social distancing will need to be observed, although there is an acknowledgement that this might not be possible everywhere, at all times.
For Christians, the physical act of gathering with our church families is of paramount importance and for many, this is even more important than the actual buildings. It is good to see mention of places of worship in the Government’s plan. Our hope and prayer is that it will soon be safe to gather again, while recognising the importance of observing expert guidelines for the time being.
Many churches have responded to the lockdown with ingenuity and great resolve and we salute the amazing work of tech teams, pastors and many others who are working so hard to enable Christians to still meet via zoom, or other platforms.