Churches should not be asked to close their doors again during the Covid-19 crisis, says Tim Farron, the former leader of the Liberal Democrats.
‘Over the past few months, the physical closure of churches has troubled me,’ he said in an article published by the Financial Times.
‘Now, as Covid-19 cases rise and we await new lockdown measures in England, I feel strongly that churches should not be asked to close again.’
He says he questions the government’s priorities and ‘the sidelining of the importance of our spiritual health’.
He highlighted a letter signed by several hundred church leaders which expressed grave concern at ‘policies which prioritise bare existence at the expense of those things that give quality, meaning and purpose to life’.
Farron also said, ‘Churches have shown they can open safely, with sanitiser, masks and social distancing. Closing them should be a last resort.’
Concluding his article, he said, ‘Our ministers and scientists need to understand that although the buildings themselves are not sacred, the relationships and bonds that are developed within them truly are.’