Still praying this weekend as Covid closes in

Religious leaders across Lancashire have been urged to cancel communal services during the latest Covid lockdown - although the advice may have come too late to disrupt this weekend’s  worship.

By Brian Ellis
Friday, 8th January 2021, 4:31 pm
Updated Friday, 8th January 2021, 4:34 pm
The Bishop of Blackburn says Anglican services will remain the same, at least for this weekend.
The Bishop of Blackburn says Anglican services will remain the same, at least for this weekend.

Anglican churches are expected to remain open tomorrow, although clergy in the county could be allowed to decide for themselves whether to close their churches once a meeting between Bishops and the Government to clarify the situation has been held next week.

Many Mosques hosted Friday prayers as planned today. And the Catholic Bishop of Lancaster said he was still in consultation about yesterday’s statement from Lancashire’s three Directors of Public Health before making a decision.

The Bishop of Blackburn, the Rt Rev Julian Henderson, told CofE clergy: “These are extremely difficult times for church leaders and we are acutely aware of the intense pressures on you all as we come to the weekend.

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“Whilst our advice remains unchanged until next week when the Bishops nationally will be consulting with government for clarity, we accept that many of you may now choose to close your churches for public worship after this coming Sunday whilst remaining open for private prayer.”

The health chiefs for Lancashire, Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen issued a joint statement “strongly advising” all faith communities to pause communal worship to reduce the spread of the new Covid variant.

“We recognise that this is a big request, but it will help to protect our communities at this critical stage of the pandemic,” they said.

The Lancashire Council of Mosques has been approached for a comment.