In this ever-evolving lockdown situation, let me make clear two key points:
First: yes, Churches are allowed to remain open.
Second: it may yet be in your best interests not to come!
Tier 4 lockdown measures (our current status) look, apart from schools and places of worship, almost exactly like a full lockdown situation. Although few of us are scientists, this simple fact should give us all a strong indication of the current shape of things.
For this reason, we at St. John’s, Maindee, have taken the decision to cancel the Sunday service on the 27th December 2020, and all Wednesday Services for the time being. We are well aware that the loss of Church in person is a hard thing for us all, but we also want you to stay safe enough to return to us when this emergency is over.
Although things may yet change, the Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve and the Christmas Morning service are still scheduled to happen. But my position is simple: you are not under any obligation to come, not even if you are normally one of our church workers or musicians. I plan to be there to celebrate — and live-stream — the Eucharist as a part of my holy obligation as a Christian priest. However, your health is my foremost concern, and if you feel the least bit uncomfortable, I would much rather you join us on YouTube. I do not wish to deny anyone communion on one of our most important festivals, but neither do I wish anyone to feel any pressure to choose between their health and their faith.
In the days to come, when all the public conversations around Christmas and lockdown are done, we will be in a better position to re-assess matters, and we will probably have firmer, less emergency-based guidance from the Church and Government. Please stay tuned to our usual information channels, and I will update you as soon as there is something further to know. You will find our YouTube channel at:
In the mean time, God bless us, every one.