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East Londonderry DUP MP Gregory Campbell has written to the First Minister of Northern Ireland Arlene Foster urging the Executive to consider an Executive taskforce for places or worship.

Mr Campbell said,

“A taskforce would be helpful as a reference group for the Executive as they navigate the rolling back of covid-19 restrictions.

There has been much deliberation and discussion regarding when Churches will be able to reopen for congregational worship. Quite rightly almost everyone has taken the responsible attitude that there must be a safety-first attitude when dealing with the subject.

Given that there have been slight changes aimed at drive-in services and church buildings can open for private prayer, it would seem sensible for churches themselves to prepare for further relaxation guided by that continuing personal safety approach.
Provided the numbers of those contracting the virus continue to fall as has been the case for several weeks, it would seem entirely appropriate that churches themselves help prepare for the next move.

Those in charge of church buildings could identify what steps they would introduce when the easing is being considered. The distancing of seated worshippers inside the building, toilet facilities, offering provision, entering and exiting the building or provision of several services are all matters which could be discussed.

Such formalised discussions and representations would undoubtedly help Executive Ministers to make the right decisions. Sensible planning can facilitate an easier transition.”