"Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art"
It’s ironic, isn’t it, that the hymns we listen to at church often exhort us to sing our praises to God but we can only sit in silence because of the latest government guidelines? It’s frustrating because singing in communion with others is a form of prayer and a much-valued part of the church service.
Churches have complied willingly with all the restrictions imposed throughout the covid-19 pandemic and they have taken all the precautions necessary as they have tentatively re-opened their doors to worshippers again. It’s been the responsible thing to do.
We were right to be cautious about singing in front of others because we couldn’t be fully sure of the risks. However, we now know more about the science than we did at the start of the pandemic. Singing poses no more risk than talking – especially when you consider that when we sing, we do so, mainly, in the same direction but when we talk, we are often facing each-other!
The Government is preparing to lift most of the remaining restrictions on movement and social distancing by 19th July. This is in large part because the NHS’s hugely successful vaccination programme has broken the link between the rate of infections and the rate of hospitalisation.
For many social and cultural activities, like big sport events and festivals, we will see some level of normality return. However, we can’t be sure yet that congregational singing will be allowed. So, while it could be fine for football fans to return to their terrace chants at Wembley – or even in small pubs around the country - we could still be banned from singing our favourite hymns in our own congregations. That can’t be right, can it?
We are calling for regulations to treat Christian church-goers fairly and equally and for singing to be brought back into churches across the whole of the UK on 19th July at the very latest. Sign our petition, and donate money to our cause if you can, to help us make the case to Government on this pressing issue.