Seventeen church leaders in Sligo including the Catholic bishop of Elphin, Kevin Doran, have written to local TDs and Councillors to asked the Government “to allow Churches to open at level 3 of lockdown so that people can return to worship and that the avenues of Christian love and comfort can resume.” Ireland was unique in Europe in stopping public worship at mid-level restrictions.
The group includes Catholic, Church of Ireland, Presbyterian, Methodist, and Pentecostal Christians that make up “Sligo Churches Together”.
They say for many years they have cooperated to advance the spiritual welfare of their respective congregations.: “We do this by coming together for acts of prayer and worship, raising awareness of social issues such as pastoral care for refugees and migrants in our community and collecting much needed funds to distribute to needy causes in the local area.”
“We have been disheartened that when our Christian community is most in need of God’s grace, love and the comfort of the Sacraments our Churches are forced to close.”
The group say they are perplexed that the Covid-19 response plan for the Church is the same at level 3 as at level 5, and they appeal to Government, given the degree of safety that the Churches have implemented, that they should be allowed to open at level 3.