Phased Return to Church

I ask that an immediate return to congregating should be permitted under the following
TEMPORARY CONDITIONS, to balance health and religious needs:

Physical contact should be avoided between those of different households.

Meetings should be in gatherings of <50 persons.
(Larger congregations may run multiple services and continue online services).

Adequate spacing should be maintained. (Seating in household groups and maintaining a 2m space).

Children should remain with their household for the duration of the service.

Refreshments should be pre-packaged and disposable, requiring no preparation or cleaning up.

Hand sanitiser should be encouraged throughout the building.

As with shopping, or exercising, worship should be engaged in at the congregants' own risk.
Those churches demonstrating responsible behaviour as above should not be legally liable should congregants fall ill. Those at risk, or with health concerns, should be encouraged to stay at home.
Churches should continue meeting their needs online for now.

Perhaps a simple-to-use/quick-to-implement policy document could be created (like a simplified version of a Child Protection Policy) to encourage and demonstrate compliance with the above conditions.

Why the contribution is important

As a Baptist Pastor, I have admired the responsible behaviour of faith groups to discontinue services throughout this pandemic. Most were content to temporarily surrender our rights and freedoms for the national good.

Yet many people have fared badly through the Covid-19 crisis with the loss of church community.
Loneliness, depression, self-harm, domestic violence and alcohol abuse are all reported as increasing.

Many more have felt the need of worship services - as evidenced by the dramatic rise in online attendance noted by the media*. People need more than physical health alone. Other nations recognise the 'essential' nature of religious services. Worship promotes emotional and spiritual well-being.


by egkrateia on May 06, 2020 at 05:43PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.5
Based on: 22 votes


  • Posted by borisjlives May 07, 2020 at 10:38

    I fully support that people should return to all religious services of every religion.
  • Posted by scotdoc72 May 07, 2020 at 11:22

    Agree - religion is a key part of social fabric and I think that people are sensible enough to participate while socially distancing

  • Posted by mattround May 07, 2020 at 12:34

    Agree - societal benefits of organised religion can be recovered to a degree with low risk through a plan like this.
  • Posted by randomchaos May 07, 2020 at 15:06

    I completely agree with this idea. There are many people of faith in Scotland who would welcome the return of traditional, in-person church services. There are many ways in which churches could maintain social-distancing. Many of which are suggested in the original post.
  • Posted by WilfredLawrieNicholasJohnson May 09, 2020 at 08:53

    Churches should be last place to open. They are primarily made up of a high risk group of people and provide no economic benefit. Like any workplace or public building you would have health and safety responsibilities for the people in that building. So to suggest you should not be held legally liable if someone caught or spreads the virus is your building is misguided.
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