For the past few weeks places of worship have been open in Scotland only for individual prayer. Photo: John Devlin

Services set to return to Scotland’s places of worship

Places of worship will be able to hold congregational ceremonies again as of tomorrow (Wednesday, July 15).

By Neil McGrory, Local Democracy Reporter
Tuesday, 14th July 2020, 2:40 pm

Worshippers will have to maintain social distancing of two metres from people from other households and attendance will be limited to 50, or 20 in the case of weddings or funerals.

Contact details will also be required in for purposes of Test and Protect contact tracing if necessary, and there will be no shared items such as  hymnals and prayer mats.

Faith leaders are expected to take all reasonable measures to adapt their rites and rituals to ensure the safety of their congregations, while singing, chanting and playing of wind instruments is also not recommended until further scientific research on the risk of virus transmission is published.

The Scottish Government’s communities secretary, Aileen Campbell, said: “I know it has been very difficult for our faith communities to be unable to come together in their places of worship during such challenging times. This was, of course, necessary due to the pandemic and I would like to thank everyone for their understanding and patience.

“We have continued to engage closely with and listen to our faith communities throughout this period and we understand the important role of congregational worship in supporting spiritual wellbeing.

“The updated guidance reflects the evolving scientific and health advice and has been developed in consultation with leaders and representatives of Scotland’s faith and belief communities.”

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