Common Roots: Ancient Evangelical Future Conference

Archbishop’s respond to UK national lockdown over COVID-19 second wave

Writing on Twitter tonight, the Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Rev. Justin Welby said:

This is harder than the first wave – let’s be calm, compassionate and courageous.   May the peace of Jesus Christ, who lived through and always knows our troubles, guard and keep us all. And may God guide our leaders in these tough decisions.

The Archbishop of York, the Most Rev. Stephen Cottrell said:

A second lockdown is going to be hard. But God is present with us in hard times. The prayer and service of the Church goes on. Let us join together to support each other and pray that we may know God’s presence and share it with others.

On 31 Oct 2020 the Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new series of lockdowns designed to halt the spread of the Coronavirus. All pubs and restaurants will be closed for in person dining, though takeout and deliveries will be permitted. Non essential retail stores will be closed, the industrial sector however will be encouraged to remain open. International travel for tourism will be banned, though work related travel will be permitted, will internal travel in Britain will be discouraged except for work related trips. Schools, universities and courts will remain open as will outdoor exercise and recreation facilities. Visiting other people in their homes will be prohibited save for childcare and other forms of elder and healthcare support.

Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people, and it is advised that only close friends and family attend. Linked ceremonial events such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 15 people in attendance. Anyone working is not included. Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.

The new national restrictions state:

Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies will not be permitted to take place except in exceptional circumstances.

Places of Worship will be closed, unless they are being used for:

  • Funerals
  • To broadcast acts of worship
  • Individual prayer
  • Formal childcare or where part of a school
  • Essential voluntary and public services, such as blood donation or food banks
  • Other exempted activities such as some support groups

The government is set to introduce the proposals to Parliament on Wednesday and if adopted, will take effect on Thursday, 5 November 2020. The regulations will be reviewed after 2 December 2020.

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