The UK and England in particular, is facing another lockdown, due to a spike in the Coronavirus epidemic. The 80% furlough scheme is back until March next year and other help is available for the self-employed and businesses. Of course, many of these businesses, etc, will have only just opened up again as we came out of lockdown, now they are having to close down again because of a national lockdown. Regions of England were already placed in different tiers, based on the severity of the virus.
Sir Keir Starmer, has once again, said he will back the government, however, he was saying once again Boris, should have taken the country into a national lockdown sooner. This would have saved thousands of businesses and many workers, who now find themselves, unemployed.
The restrictions on what people can and can't do during this second lockdown are basically the same as before. Places of worship were affected by these measures in the last lockdown. Again, churches and other places of worship are facing restrictions.
Christians of all denominations have written to the Prime Minister, disagreeing with the ban on large gatherings of worshippers. Christians objecting to the ban are led by people like Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury.
The letter explicitly complains that during the last lockdown of four months. Where Christians and others, were banned from gathering in large numbers, to worship. Now, in the letter, it states Christians are facing the same thing again, in this lockdown. The letter contains the words "baffled", "dismay", "great distress".
Churches right now, are only allowed to hold individual prayers, funerals, formal childcare and essential public services. The main crux of the letter is that Christians are not being allowed to worship God in church. Also, they say there is not much chance of infection, in church gatherings, as long safety precautions are adhered to. The argument goes that if supermarkets can be open, why not churches?
The church as a whole supports the government's moves against COVID, it's just the restrictions they disagree with. The argument has been given that churches, mosques, synagogues, etc, are the spiritual hub of people's lives. Also, many in the community depend on these houses of prayer for help in many areas of their lives, not just the spiritual aspect.
The argument goes that in these times of uncertainty, religious groups will not be able to help those in need as they should. Certainly, Christians and others have a point, religion in these uncertain times gives many people hope, whether spiritual or otherwise.
As a Christian myself, I totally get why the churches are worried about the new lockdown. Also, how it will affect those in need in these dark times. However, for myself as a Christian, I have discovered individual prayer and meditation. I would encourage all believers, that yes, we do need to gather, but do it safely. Also, try doing what Jesus told us to do, explore going to a silent place and speak directly to him.