Headline: Covid-19: Lockdown rules divide opinion at places of worship.
Summary: Under the government legislation, places of worship are able to remain open for services during England’s current lockdown. However, if places of worship choose to open their doors, they will have to make certain changes to abide by the new rules such as:
No communal singing;
A 6ft distance must be kept between anybody not in the same household;
Any holy books, prayer mats, idols touched must be in quarantine for 48 hours.
Different places of worship have taken a different approach. For example, in the following places in Norwich:
Norwich’s Roman Catholic cathedral, St John the Baptist remains open for 17 masses a week. They would normally welcome 1,200 people across all of five of Sunday masses; they are currently limited to 170 per service which is “like a postage stamp in this building”. The priest says communal worship is needed for “comfort and solace” in a time like this.
Norwich Cathedral, closed its physical doors to the public but have replaced them with virtual ones which is new to 21st century worship. The Sunday Eucharist will be live-streamed every week on the cathedral’s YouTube channel and full details of how people can participate in daily worship at home are available on the cathedral’s website. https://www.cathedral.org.uk/
Norwich Central Mosque remains open for private prayer online. People from the same household can visit the mosque to pray by booking a timed slot. The imam believes prayer is important during the time of the pandemic but we should play our part to not allow a big gathering and not spread the virus.
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