Half of UK adults support the reopening of church buildings earlier than July if social distancing is maintained, a poll conducted for the National Churches Trust has revealed.
Of the 2,085 people surveyed by Savanta ComRes, 49 per cent supported the proposal, with 19 per cent undecided. Support was higher among those who attend church regularly, with two thirds backing the suggestion.
The Government’s current plan states that places of worship in England, along with pubs and cinemas, will not reopen before 4 July. This would be delayed if the rate of infections has not dropped sufficiently for the change to be deemed safe.
When asked to choose from a list of church activities to restart after lockdown, 44 per cent selected providing a place for private prayer in their top three “most important” priorities, while 42 per cent selected holding occasions such as weddings, funerals and baptisms.
Last month, twenty MPs wrote to the Prime Minister, urging the Government to allow churches to reopen earlier than July.
They emphasised the importance of reopening churches for private prayer and services with limited congregations.
Church buildings in Northern Ireland are already open for private prayer and drive-in services are permitted with social distancing.