This morning, my son, who’s 17, was turned away from our local church. The designated spaces for people attending mass were full. He tried to book online at the church down the road – they were full too (and last week they turned my daughter away). It was too late to make an online booking for the lunchtime mass at the London Oratory, but the reservations system for the tea-time mass was still open, so he’s booked that, on a system that hilariously resembles the booking system for a commercial theatre, except that it concludes, which they don’t, with God Bless You.
I say this not to expose my failings as a parent in not getting my offspring off to mass early, but to make clear the extent of the self-regulation that the churches are imposing in order to comply with government regulations. You must, moreover, give your details when you turn up, for the track and trace system.