Coronavirus and the Church of England – BBC Newsnight

published on July 13, 2020

The churches are closedchurch income is down and the bishopshave clashed with the governmentit's an uncertain time for the church ofengland and like other pillars ofsociety

It's likely to face questions over howit's conducteditself in recent monthswe're in liverpool in the shadow of itsvast anglican cathedralits mighty doors have been closed since

Marchthis is the biggest church in thecountry it can hold three and a halfthousand worshipers standing upit's high time the churches werereopened so many

But how and when might this occur andwhat might the church look likeafter the pandemic in any casewe asked the bishop of liverpool aboutthe lockdown of churchesa number of people regretted that and

No my own view was that the foundationof christian faithis that individual people have apriceless value before godand therefore if we're going to takerisks let's air on the side of safety

Why did you feel it was appropriate tospeak outwith other bishops about the activitiesof the prime minister's adviser thetrips he went onif if our government is to tell us to do

Things which are personally painfuland thousands of people have risen tothat challengesome of them the meaning of that is thatthey've not been with their loved oneswhen they died

If if that kind of challenge is put outthere and the nation responds positivelythen i think the government has aresponsibility to live up to thattrust and to communicate as openly andas honestly as possible

The rector of liverpool crispin palinghas the parish church of saint nicks tohimselfit's normally one of the busiest in thecity but worship has moved online fornow

Government guidance has suggested it'llbe next month at the earliest beforechurches like saint nick's can reopen tothe laitythere have been moments when all of ushave felt frustration

With the rules that have been given bythe bishops or by the government umat the moment i think we need to to tryand focus on the point in the storywhere we are as the story developsthen we can look back and we can make

Some judgments uh but we also need tocontinue looking forwardto when we can take that next step whenwe can open our buildinghow we can enable people to worshipwhilst keeping safe

A sign of the times in these petitionsfor prayermany miss the familiar surroundings oftheir parish churchbut others including some clergy feelrather less attachment to the bricks and

Mortarthis was once a presbyterian church inliverpoolnow abandoned churches can be costly tomaintainand perhaps forbidding to younger people

Some within the cmv have even spoken oftheprison of church buildings and sayanglicans should emerge from thepandemicwith fewer of them so we pray for those

Who walk in the corridors of powermay they always consider those theyrepresent make decisions with courageandintegrity perhaps philsaltmarsh's ministry is the way forward

He's vicar of saint ayden's or he wouldbe if the church hadn't been pulled downa few years agonow he's offering virtual servicesincluding communionfrom a cafe in a parade of shops in

Speak a deprived neighborhoodin liverpool what we've seen throughlive streaming of our church services onfacebookis that more people are engaging with usand asking for prayer

And or even just wanting to help supportthe food bankin different ways and so even if peoplearen't part of the gathered churchthey want to be connected and involvedin some way

While liverpool's churches are closedthey're far from idlethe biggest food bank in the cityoperates from the neo-classical porticoof saint brideswhere they provide more than 250 bags of

Groceries a daythe resources of the church which youwant to go into caring for the peopleand serving the community can go intosupporting aging buildings heritagepeople wouldn't agree

They think it's a wonderful heritageprogram and it is a wonderful heritageprogramme butwe want the resources of the church andthe people to go to serve the communitybut back at our lady in saint nicholas

On liverpool waterfrontwe met janine hughes a regular worshiperand a food bank donor she for one can'twait for saint nix to be open againfor me personally i love to come itmakes me feel better

It's not just a building it's a life forpeople isn't ityou know you can say that about shops dowe really need them that's a completelydifferent thing isn't it this isyou know god isn't it

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