Wedding ceremonies allowed with a maximum of 30 guests

0
7
Wedding ceremonies allowed with a maximum of 30 guests

Wedding services involving up to 30 people will be permitted as part of the further easing of lockdown rules announced by the Prime Minister.

Speaking to the House of Commons on Tuesday, Boris Johnson said: “I know that many have mourned the closure of places of worship and this year Easter, Passover and Eid all occurred during the lockdown.

“So I am delighted that places of worship will be able to reopen for prayer and services, including weddings, with a maximum of 30 people, all subject to social distancing.”

The announcement was part of wider plans to relax restrictions, including for parts of the hospitality and leisure industry, from July 4.

The Government is expected to issue detailed guidance on how the easing of current rules could work in practice.

It is understood that guidance will include the extent to which singing is allowed in services, while it is also expected to cover limitations around the use of hospitality venues.

The guidance is also expected to apply to “life-cycle events” such as baptisms and bar mitzvahs.

Representatives of different faiths welcomed the news, with a note of caution sounded over preventing a second spike in coronavirus cases.

The Church of England welcomed the announcement and said updated advice for couples getting married will be published on its website this week.

The Church said its Recovery Group will also issue advice on subjects including singing and music, for which a review by Public Health England is currently in progress.

Bishop of London Sarah Mullally, who leads the Recovery Group, said: “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.”

She warned that not all church buildings will be ready to hold regular services from July 4 and restrictions will still be in place to control the spread of coronavirus.

Online services and “dial-in worship” will continue.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, president of the Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales, also welcomed the Prime Minister’s statement.

He said: “As Catholics we now look forward to being able to celebrate Mass together again from July 4.

“We have waited with patience and longing for this moment, understanding the importance of protecting the health of people in our society.

“Now we are full of anticipation that we will be able again to take part together in the Eucharist, which lies at the centre of our faith.”

He emphasised it will be important to continue to abide by Government guidance on social distancing, with the Catholic Church due to send out its own guidance to dioceses and parishes to enable Mass to be held securely.

Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, welcomed the Government’s announcement but urged a cautious approach.

She said her organisation had worked with different religious denominations “to ensure the right balance between preservation of life and maintenance and restarting of religious customs”.

She said weddings were “a particular concern in the Orthodox and Strictly Orthodox communities”.

Ms van der Zyl added: “However, on the day that we reveal that the total number of deaths in the Jewish community has reached 500, we would urge people to proceed with caution and stick within the Government’s guidelines to ensure there is no second spike in cases.”

.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here