Church lockdown closures ‘left worshippers out in the cold’, RC survey finds

Worshippers believe the decision to close churches during the pandemic disregarded the importance of faith, a survey has shown.

A Catholic Union survey on ‘Covid and Places of Worship’, found that 93 per cent of respondents did not think politicians “gave enough consideration to people’s faith when making decisions”.

Results from the study, which canvassed the views of almost 1,000 Roman Catholics, are to be submitted to the UK Covid-19 Inquiry.

Unnecessary and harmful

Other findings show that only a quarter of participants thought it was necessary to close places of worship by law at the start of the pandemic, while 62 per cent said that their physical or mental health had been affected by church closures.

Describing the results as “distressing”, Catholic Union President Baroness Hollins said: “They confirm that the lockdown of churches was not only hugely unpopular, but had a real impact on people’s wellbeing.”

She added: “It is vital that the Covid Inquiry properly considers the decisions to close and reopen churches during the pandemic.

“There is a very strong sense that faith and faith communities were pushed to one side when decisions were made, and this needs to be addressed in the learning from the Inquiry. It’s clear from these results that places of worship should never be forced to close again.”


In 2021, the Court of Session ruled that the Scottish Government’s ban on public worship during the pandemic was unlawful.

The regulations which required churches to close across mainland Scotland had been challenged by 27 church leaders – including Institute Trustee William Philip of The Tron Church in Glasgow – who said the restrictions were a breach of their freedom of religion.

Court of Session judge Lord Braid agreed, ruling that the regulations “constitute a disproportionate interference” into people’s freedom to manifest their religious beliefs, and that they “went further than they were lawfully able to do”.

Also see:


Former Faith Minister: ‘Covid lockdown of churches was outrageous’

UK religious freedom constraints during COVID outbreak ‘among worst in Europe’

German court rules local ban on public worship due to Covid ‘illegal’

Landmark case on ‘illiberal’ COVID worship ban brought to European Court

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