Faith leaders in England advise caution about the exemption from the Covid ban

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After announcing that houses of worship can remain open, churches and mosques weigh risks
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The Church of England said at this time that some people may feel it is “better not to attend in person” and that clergy who have concerns or are protecting themselves should “take extra care and stay at home. A statement from Sarah Mullally, the bishop of London who is leading the Church of England’s response to the pandemic, added: “We will continue to follow guidance to ensure that churches remain. But in view of the spread of the virus, some clergy expressed concern about the exemption. Alice Smith, vicar of St. John the Evangelist in Brownswood Park, north London, tweeted, “But some clergy expressed concern about the exemption in light of the spread of the virus.Alice Smith, the vicar of St. John the Evangelist in Brownswood Park, north London, tweeted, ” It doesn’t help the Twittersphere to be advised in the least that any result is incorrect, stupid or dangerous. Uh, hey ho. “Smith told the Guardian that “the benefits of public worship are immense, especially because of poor access to technology for most of my congregation.”

“But, she added, even though she thought Covid-proof was her church building, “I’m aware that a lot of people come to our soup kitchen and food bank. I truly have no idea what the right thing to do is.

If the government had ordered us to close, I would have been upset, but at least then it would have been obvious. “Another vicar in the north of England wrote to a friend on Tuesday, “I’m very surprised.

I feel like someone thinks that putting me and people I know at risk is OK.

In recent weeks, Harun Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, said that several mosques in England had voluntarily suspended their congregational practices “as a precaution,” and that many Muslims had made individual decisions about the risks of visiting their mosque to pray. In choosing to remain accessible to the public, mosques should “exercise enormous caution,” and they should provide online services. Life protection is a major Islamic concept…… During this pandemic, no one should feel pressurized to attend a mosque. In following Covid’s instructions, the Board of Deputies of British Jews said synagogues must be “scrupulous.” One of three United Synagogue congregations last month said it would close because of fears about the spread of the virus in the communities.

Steven Wilson, United Synagogue Chief Executive Officer, said in response to the recent closure announcement, “We will continue to support the shuls [synagogues]who have decided to close and those who are now considering closing.” In his reaction to the exemption for places of worship, however, the most senior Catholic in England and Wales was unambiguous. “I am pleased that no measures have been introduced to prevent or curtail this essential source of energy for the common good,” Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster and the highest-ranking Catholic in England and Wales, tweeted. During the shutdown in November, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster and the highest-ranking Catholic in England and Wales, tweeted.

In Wales and Northern Ireland, they will remain open but must impose social distancing measures.Funerals and limited-number weddings are still permitted across Britain, but receptions and wakes are prohibited.

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