Online and In-person Communal Worship: Covid-19 Restrictions

Church Commissioners – in the House of Commons on 17th June 2021.

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Photo of Martin Vickers Martin Vickers Conservative, Cleethorpes

Whether the Church of England plans to support online and in-person communal worship as covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner

The Church of England is strongly encouraging churches to support both in-person and online communal worship, and training has been given to thousands of clergy to enable this. It is up to local churches to decide how best to do this.

Photo of Martin Vickers Martin Vickers Conservative, Cleethorpes

I thank my hon. Friend for his reply. It is welcome that the Church is encouraging this both online and in-person. For those housebound, who perhaps in the past have only received home communion, to be able to participate more is very welcome, but nothing can actually replace the fellowship of being a part of a real-life congregation. Can he give an absolute assurance that no barriers will be put in the way of achieving that?

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner

I could not agree with my hon. Friend more, and I can give him a complete assurance that the Church of England fully recognises the importance that so many people attach to worshipping communally together in church. At the same time, we are very keen not to lose those who join us online, and we hope we will be able to get to know many of our new online attendees as soon as possible in due course.