Congregationl singing and the common cup at the eucharist will be allowed in England once again from Monday, church authorities have confirmed, despite the sharp rise in coronavirus cases. It will be up to clergy and PCCs to decide whether to retain precautions such as face coverings, social distancing, and communion in one kind.
The latest Church of England guidance was published late on Friday afternoon, in preparation for Monday’s removal of restrictions in England. The move coincided with the news that reported daily cases in the UK had passed 50,000, and a warning by the Government’s chief medical adviser, Professor Chris Whitty, that hospital admissions could reach “scary numbers”. Different timetables for relaxing Covid restrictions have been set by the governments of Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
The Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Sarah Mullally, who heads the Church’s Covid recovery group, welcomed the relaxation of restrictions, including what she described as the “long-awaited return of congregational and amateur choir singing”, but she also urged caution.
“This is a difficult point in the course of the pandemic. Despite vaccination rates, cases are up, hospital admissions are up, and long Covid remains an ongoing concern. Therefore our approach needs to be cautious and careful,” she said.
— Simon Sarmiento (@simonsarmiento) July 16, 2021