Congregations in Northern Ireland met together for ‘a symbolic day’ on Sunday, with the commencement of the first drive-in church services since the lockdown.
Church buildings can now open for private prayer and drive-in services are permitted with social distancing.
Pastor Billy Jones of Dunseverick Baptist Church said “the fact that we can come to one place together to worship God means an important amount to many, many people”.
Approximately 100 vehicles lined up to hear Pastor Jones’s service, and the church is open to hosting further drive-in services until the congregation is able to meet inside the church building.
Pastor Jones called the event ‘a symbolic day’ and several members described it as the “light at the end of the tunnel”.
One added: “it’s just lovely to come together again”.
Church leaders in Northern Ireland recently described the limited reopening of church buildings in the Province as a “much-needed sign of hope”.
The Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Church of Ireland and the Methodist Church in Ireland welcomed the move, saying: “We appreciate the recognition in this recovery plan of the importance of the local church, and public worship, in the lives of many people.
“There is a strong desire to increase the level of pastoral contact where that can be done safely.”