Archbishop urges people to return to church on Christmas Day

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has urged people to return to church on Christmas Day, as social distance rules have been relaxed during the holidays.

Places of worship can be opened in all areas of England from December 2, but worshipers cannot interact with anyone outside their household or “support bubble” under Level 2 and 3 restrictions.

Mr. Welby said people should not be deterred from physically attending worship on December 25, describing churches as “one of the safest places at the moment.”

The Archbishop told BBC’s Newsnight: “Yes of course they should go to church. Go to church online. Go to church physically.

“You will notice that there will be far fewer people, because we keep people two meters apart. Go to church, pray.

Remember that at the heart of Christmas is the gift of Jesus Christ, through God, to give us hope and life and a future. And it is that hope that is central to Christmas. “

The Archbishop added, “I will certainly be in church. That’s one of the safest places at the moment and it will be allowed from the end of the lockdown. But there will be very few people there.

“And we’ll wait a little closer to Christmas to make a final decision, but right now the plan is that few of us get together, that we’re not too close together, that we take care of each other, that we take care of each other to care. . “

Mr Welby also said people should see their relatives if they can “safely” to “deal with the truly dangerous epidemic of isolation.”

He said, “If you really love people, you will see them in a safe way. And it is possible. “

The Catholic Church has also stressed the importance of people going to places of worship during the holidays.

James Somerville-Meikle, head of public affairs at the Catholic Union, said: “Opening churches next month will bring comfort and joy to people’s lives, but this will still be a tremendously difficult Christmas for many people.

“For families who are grieving, for those who are concerned about their jobs or business, and for those who have the prospect of being alone this Christmas, these pains will not be resolved anytime soon or simply by reopening churches.”