The U.K. Government announced that church buildings will be able to reopen for public worship from July 4, providing physical social distancing. Churches in England stated they have already been able to open for private prayer since June 13. On Tuesday, Boris Johnson announced the re-opening of churches covers services as well as weddings up to a maximum of 30 people, subject to social distancing measures.
"Churches have risen to the recent challenges, finding new ways of meeting for worship, of serving our neighbors, and of reaching new people with the love of God. The challenge before us now is to take the next steps carefully and safely, without forgetting all that we've discovered about God and ourselves on the way."
The Bishop of London Sarah Mullally, who leads the Church of England's Recovery Group stated there will be real joy as Christians gather together for a meaningful time. During the time of quarantine till today, Churches have been worried about people losing faith; however, they state that it is a good time for a big reunion.
"There will be real joy as we begin to come together again if even at a physical distance but I also know that many will be understandably cautious at this news."
"We will not be returning to normality overnight - this is the next step on a journey. We've been planning carefully, making detailed advice available for parishes to enable them to prepare to hold services when it is safe and practical to do so. It is important to say that the change in Government guidance is permissive, not prescriptive."
The Church of England's Recovery Group gladly welcomed the Prime Minister's announcement after going over the safety measures for everyone's health.
"I would particularly like to thank clergy and lay leaders for all they have done during the time our buildings have been closed. Not all church buildings will be ready to hold regular services from July 4th, but we are providing whatever support we can to enable them."
Doing everything they can to limit the spread of the virus, they state that the most vulnerable part is to be protecting each other.
"There will be restrictions as well as the online services and dial-in worship offerings have become used to will continue."
The Church also supported those who have suffered through illness and financial hardship and the Methodist Church has said it is planning to release a special service soon to celebrate the return to public worship.
"This has been an incredibly difficult time for the whole country, especially for those who have been ill, who have suffered financial hardship, the loss of livelihoods and indeed, for many, those they love. We know that is not over and the Church has a task ahead to bring consolation and hope."