December4 , 2022

    Churches in Northern Ireland to Reopen This Month

    Related

    Group Gives 10,000 Bibles to London’s Children

    The Trinitarian Bible Society announced that over 10,000 Bibles have been given to London schools within three years.

    ‘Praise the Lord!’ Ukrainian Christians Cheer Kherson Liberation

    Ukrainian Christians celebrate the liberation of Kherson with cheers of praise and thanksgiving, seven months after Russia occupied the city.

    JESUS Film Makes History, Now Translated in 2,000 Languages

    The JESUS film makes history as it is now translated into its 2,000th language making it the most translated film of all time.

    U.S. Renews Calls Against Blasphemy Laws

    The United States joined 15 countries in expressing concern over international blasphemy laws.

    Franklin Graham Attracts Record-breaking Audience in Italy

    More than 13,200 people gathered for an evangelical outreach led by Franklin Graham in Milan, Italy on October 29.

    Share

    Christians in Northern Ireland welcomed the news that churches will reopen to the public on June 29.

    First Minister Arlene Foster, Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill, and senior representatives from faith communities agreed on a set of guidelines to be implemented in preparation for the reopening of church buildings.

    I expect that we will be beginning in a cautious way at first, and there will be a need for ongoing patience and careful monitoring of the situation. —All-Ireland Catholic Primate Archbishop Eamon Martin

    In the guidelines, only six people will be allowed inside the church and 15 others outside. Church goers are advised to go straight to their seats while observing physical distancing, reports Premier Christian News.

    Before, Christians can just drop by the church to attend a service, but Ireland’s new guidelines advised the public to register online before attending Mass. According to The Irish News, churches are required to provide enough signages, sanitizing materials, and to temporary store reusable prayer books, hymnals and hymn sheets. Faith leaders should inform their members about the changes in the church.

    “Each of our congregations must think carefully and responsibly about the practical preparations necessary to facilitate this long awaited and prayed for return,” reminded Rev Trevor Gribben, general secretary of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.

    Faith services via social media and other platforms is the norm as the world fights against the deadly Coronavirus. Since March, Christians have joined worship services online, but it is a different experience than physically going to church.

    “I commend parishes for reaching out to parishioners in very difficult circumstances during the lockdown, which included the broadcasting of Mass and other prayer opportunities by webcam,” said All-Ireland Catholic Primate Archbishop Eamon Martin.

    Church leaders lauded the lifting of the ban on religious services. Reopening of places of worship is a welcome development in a time of fear and isolation. Churches are advised to make gradual changes as they accept the public again indoors.

    A Church of Ireland spokesperson said “We join with other Churches in welcoming the announcements today, which will allow us to make a start on making our church buildings safe to resume public worship.”

    Meanwhile, Archbishop Martin said, “I expect that we will be beginning in a cautious way at first, and there will be a need for ongoing patience and careful monitoring of the situation.”

    The approved guidelines are available to help churches prepare for the public. However, Rev Gribben clarified that, “The circumstances of each local church will be different and we are supporting our congregations to make the necessary decisions to enable gatherings to take place safely, by providing detailed guidance in preparation for reopening.”