1484 Ministers and Church leaders from all over Great Britain wrote a letter to the Prime Minister asking for recognition that Christian worship is an essential activity that must not be forced into the next isolation.

Subscribers represent a very wide range of Christian denominations, including Presbyterian, Anglican, Pentecostal, independent, Roman Catholic and Baptist churches.

They are unanimous in their disappointment that everything that needs to be complemented by the power of the law is essential to the lives of many millions of people in this country. Since there is no evidence that churches facilitated the transmission of the virus, they say they are surprised. Churches, they say, are strict and therefore belong to the safest places, and the service is one of the safest of all events.

Church leaders describe themselves as trapped in a serious tension between our devotion to God and our deep desire to submit to our government, a tension we never wanted to experience in this country and which we had expected. For Christians and for us it is a great misfortune that the government of the people we love should prevent us from coming together to worship God who declares our greatest fidelity; especially when this happens without any concrete explanation as to why it is appropriate.

The letter was written on the evening of the 3rd. November 2020 to the Prime Minister.

said Matthew Roberts, minister of Trinity Church of York and former moderator of the International Presbyterian Church: The worship of God’s love is the most important thing in life, it is the basis of all good things in our lives. Churches are also an important means of support and reinforcement for countless people. In times of national crisis, they are the last thing the government has to force to close.

Dave Gobbett, pastor of Highfield Church in Cardiff, said it is extremely disappointing that local congregations have again been asked to close churches. We have already seen the negative spiritual side-effects of the previous isolation and I fear that these new restrictions against the assembly – even if only temporary, but for us personally – will only serve to weaken our communities, our pastoral care and our spiritual health.

Graham Nicholls, Christ Church Haywards Heath (Fellowship of Independent Protestant Churches), Affinity Director : We believe that the Church meeting is an integral part of life, both for Christians and for everyone else. It is unwise and unjust to impose church closures at a time when churches are fully protected.

Reverend Julian Bidgud, pastor of Barkham Church in Wackingham, E.C., said the church is one of the safest environments currently available. There is no good reason why, now that we have adopted the practice of safe church attendance, we should not be able to gather for public worship.

said Giles Fraser, director of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. St. Mary’s, Newington: The right to profess a religion is fundamental to human freedom. We can do this safely and responsibly. What we do in church is not a form of entertainment for a religious club. She’s the heart of our being. The voice of public opinion must never be silenced.

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