Following the Government announcement that church buildings will be able to reopen for public worship from 4th July, providing physical distancing remains in place, the Archbishop of Canterbury said:
"It’s wonderful that we will soon be able to gather again for worship in our churches. This is an important moment and I wanted to share some thoughts:
Over the coming weeks I’ll be praying for clergy and congregations, especially those who for whom returning to church will not be straightforward, and for all those who we are called to love and serve.
During lockdown we’ve found new ways to walk together with Jesus and love our neighbours. As we give thanks to God that we will soon be able to gather again in churches, let’s reflect deeply on what God has taught us over these months.
As we prepare to gather together again, we do so knowing that many will be returning bearing new burdens of grief and anxiety. Others will be filled with hope and excitement.
But we do not gather just by ourselves. We are gathered in the embrace of God who holds our griefs, fears and hopes, and who walks with us into this new and uncertain future, lighting our path along the way.
So please pray, not just for our return to our beloved buildings - with all the safety precautions that we must get right - but also for our return to each other. As we meet again, pray that we do so in the knowledge that God is calling us anew to be communities that truly care for one another, support those in need, work for justice and the common good, and boldly proclaim the good news of Jesus.
And if you have been exploring faith with us online during lockdown, you will be so welcome to join us in church over the coming months if that’s right for you."
Read a statement by the Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, who leads the Church of England’s Recovery Group, on the Church of England website here.