What we want to say (to ministers) is that the issue of how people are able to practice their faith are profound and are sensitive and we would like a bit more sensitivity from the government. And we would like to remind them that the Catholic Church certainly has put forward already detailed protocols, agreed with Public Health England about how we can start the process, step by step, of making churches available for people.
We want to do this for a couple of reasons, one is because they offer a private, quiet space for individual prayer and that helps people’s inner stability, and also because the faiths are a terrific motivator for aspects of the service that are given in society today. Within a mile of here there are two Catholic institutions that feed 300 people every day and that is motivated, in a good part, by their faith.
Now, in these last weeks, we’ve been creative, we’ve been faithful. Mass has been celebrated every single day in Catholic churches. People have joined in online but there’s something, a big, big feeling in the religious communities, of wanting to get back to a fuller practice of their faith, as long as we can do it safely.
Source: Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales