No date yet for return of singing in public worship


(Photo: Unsplash/Carolina Jacomin)

The Government is still not able to say when singing will be allowed again during public worship in churches.

The question was raised in the House of Lords this week by the Bishop of Leeds, Nick Baines, during comments on the successful rollout of the vaccine.

“Churches, clergy and chaplains have been very involved in pastoral care and in support of the dying and the bereaved, even when buildings have been closed,” he said. 

He added, however, that there was now “big concern” about not being able to sing at in-person services over Holy Week and Easter. 

“Can the Minister offer a roadmap for when singing by choirs and congregations will once again be allowed, with sufficient time to prepare?” he said. 

Answering on behalf of the Government, Lord Bethell, said he was “entirely sympathetic” to the question raised by the bishop but that there was no roadmap yet for singing again in church. 

He said the Government would be following the advice of public health officials. 

“I cannot think of anything nicer than spending Easter at Salisbury Cathedral listening to the beautiful singing of the choir there. We will be led, however, by the public health practicalities on that,” he said. 

“It has been one of the most heartbreaking aspects of this pandemic that those who seek sanctuary through worship have not been able to join the rest of their community, but the practicalities of the spread of the virus are unavoidable, so we will be led by public health advice in this matter.

“I do not have a date for his roadmap, I fear, but his considerations are very much understood in the department.”



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