Indications that the government might extend social distancing measures beyond 21 June and introduce vaccine passports for churches are deeply worrying. While no firm proposals have yet come forward, we have seen the government shift the goalposts many times before. Confidence in what they say has been eroded.
We all acknowledge the government has had a difficult job on its hands, and there is no straight line to freedom. But we now have a vaccine roll-out which has been hugely successful in dramatically decreasing hospitalisation and death. If churches can’t regain their full freedoms in June, then when?
The government needs to remember, our freedom as churches is not theirs to give or take. We have willingly given up – loaned – our liberty because thousands of people were dying and being hospitalised. But that surrender of freedom must not last indefinitely. It is for churches themselves, under the Lordship of Christ and in accordance with the Scriptures, to decide how and when and who meets for worship.