Members of the Welsh Parliament have called for “a sensible and flexible approach” to allow places of worship in Wales to reopen “as soon as possible”.
Darren Millar, Chair of the Parliament’s Cross-Party Group on Faith, said that people “are longing to be able to worship and fellowship in person once again and the right to do so should be given greater priority by the Welsh Government.”
Currently, churches in Wales remain closed except for funerals or marriages and civil partnerships where one person is terminally ill.
Millar said that many churches could “easily manage social distancing so it seems odd that people are prevented from worshiping and private prayer in these buildings” yet are allowed to visit their “local garden centre or supermarket.”
Former minister Alun Davies agreed, saying he would write to the First Minister “to make the same case”.
The Welsh Government has set up an “interfaith task group” to discuss the issue, but has not proposed plans to reopen places of worship “to protect public health”.
Places of worship in England are not due to reopen until 4 July at the earliest, but buildings are set open for private prayer from 13 June.
In the United States last month, President Trump said that churches provide an essential service and should be reopened immediately.
Speaking from the White House, the US President asked Governors to reopen places of worship because they “hold our society together”.
He highlighted how some Governors had proposed opening off-licences and abortion clinics, but not churches.