Re-opening churches

The government have announced that church buildings and other places of worship in England will be allowed to open again for services, subject to Covid-safe restrictions, when the current lockdown ends on 2 December.

Graham Nicholls commented:

“I warmly welcome the news that churches in England will be able to open their doors again, especially in the lead up to Christmas.

To many Christians, the decision to ban Christian meetings seemed disproportionate, inconsistent, and possibly unlawful. Meeting together is a vital part of what we do as Christians and whilst we are grateful for online services, they are no substitute for the level of engagement that we experience when we gather in person. Also, those without internet access are effectively isolated from even this limited means of worship. This has led some Christian leaders to robustly challenge the government and a few have chosen to break the lockdown rules. The lifting of restrictions means that such church leaders can now satisfy both their conscience and the law.

Christian churches have contributed much to the fabric of society during this year as they have actively worked to support their communities, but we are not merely an extension of social services; the worship of God and proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ is a fundamental part of our DNA.

I recognise that many will now be relieved to have the good news that we will be able, after all, to see friends and family this Christmas. The rollout out of vaccine also appears to be offering hope of a return to some form of normality in the new year. These are good things to celebrate, but churches have a message that is even more life-transforming. Now that we can open again, we will have more opportunity to communicate this great news about Jesus. We have had good news today, but the Christmas story is even better news!

We hope that many people will be able to join in with their local churches as we celebrate the birth of the Saviour.”

Graham Nicholls is Director of Affinity


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