Church and cathedral closures accelerate in response to Covid dangers

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MANY more churches and cathedrals have closed their buildings to communal worship, in the light of the dangerously increasing Covid-19 infection rate.

Direct requests to do so have come from local authorities. There is also widespread unease within faith communities about the government exemption which allows places of worship to remain open during national lockdown (News, 4 January).

Churches had been faced with an “impossible, unfair and unsustainable dilemma”, and critical public-health decisions had, in effect, been outsourced to local churches, the Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Revd Philip North, said on Monday.

One-in-30 Londoners is said to have the virus, which prompted the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to ask the Prime Minister to close places of worship immediately. He declared a “major incident” in the city last week.