Bishop of St Albans asks Government for clarity about Covid-19, singing and face masks in churches

On 22nd July Lord Lexden asked Her Majesty’s Government “further to the Written Answer by Lord Greenhalgh on 26 May (HL4184), what discussions they have had with (1) the Church of England, (2) the Catholic Church in England and Wales, and (3) other Churches, about the reopening of church buildings for private devotional prayer and public worship.

The Rt Revd Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, asked a follow up question focusing on singing and compulsory wearing of face masks:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, many of our churches and cathedrals are desperate to enable small groups of singers, perhaps four singers standing five metres apart from each other. Is there any possibility that that will be allowed soon? Secondly, will the Minister tell the House whether there are any plans for the compulsory wearing of face masks in places of worship?

Lord Greenhalgh: My Lords, I will have to write on the policy regarding face masks in places of worship. We have announced that indoor musical performances to a live audience are expected to resume after 1 August, subject to a successful completion of pilots and provided that prevalence remains at around or below current levels.


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