On Saturday night a priest posted that one hour after the new restrictions were announced, Anglican Twitter was looking for loopholes. It started me wondering why, and caused me to scrap what I was going to say in my All Saints' Day sermon and hastily put something else together. The problem (as with many arguments between clergy - especially online) is that several issues get bundled up together in one argument, and we sometimes talk across each other, rather than tease out a question. The same thing happened during the earlier lockdown, which I wrote about at the time.
This time around, I have noticed three themes cropping up regularly:
- Churches need to meet for congregational worship (and many focus on holy communion here) in order to nurture the spiritual lives of their people. Suspending services will be detrimental.
- A resistance to the government telling the church that it can't meet for worship, along with criticism of the C of E bishops for not protesting loudly enough. Faith leaders, including the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have now written a joint letter on this subject, which you can read here.
- Concern that lockdown will have a damaging impact on all aspects of the well-being of our society.