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Scottish church leaders tell Nicola Sturgeon, ‘Lift the ban on worship’

February 2021

Revd Dr William Philip
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Hundreds of Scottish church leaders have written to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urging her to lift the ban on public Sunday worship, warning the ban ‘may be unlawful’.

At the time this edition of ET went to press, Scotland was the only country in the UK to criminalise church attendance under Covid-19 restrictions.

Some 200 of the country’s church leaders have signed an open letter to the First Minister expressing their ‘profound concern’.

The letter, sent in January, called on the Scottish government to have an urgent re-think and to acknowledge that worship contributes to the ‘public good’.

In a show of support, a further 300 church leaders from throughout the rest of the UK added their names to the letter.

The initiative was coordinated by the leaders of some of the largest churches in Scotland, including Revd Paul Rees of Charlotte Chapel Edinburgh and Revd Dr William Philip of the Tron Church Glasgow.

The letter to Nicola Sturgeon states, ‘We understand entirely the exceptional difficulties of leading the country at the present time, and we and our churches have prayed for wisdom and clarity for your government repeatedly.

‘But we strongly disagree with the decision to prevent the gathering of the Church at this time, which we believe is profoundly unhelpful and may be unlawful.’

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