The churches must stay open

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Hooray for Cardinal Vincent Nichols, who used the one day of the year when his pronouncements are amplified by the season to ‘sincerely appeal that [the government] do not again consider closing churches and places of worship.’

He said in a BBC interview he believed it had been demonstrated that the airiness of churches meant they are ‘not places where we spread the virus’.

This is, of course, entirely sensible. It was nuts for churches to close at the start of lockdown, at least as spaces for prayer if not for communal worship. Pretty well any church is ‘Covid-safe’, in that there’s lots of room for people to spread themselves out. Just before they were closed I recall seeing just one man in our church for hours on end, silent before the altar; he was no conceivable risk to anyone. At most there might be half a dozen people with enormous space between them. It was easily more risky to go to a supermarket than a church.