Downing Street is seeking to suspend Sunday trading laws in 2020.
The Times stated on 6 June that the government was drawing up measures in response to mass unemployment post-coronavirus lockdown, including ‘letting larger supermarkets open for more than six hours on Sundays’. It has since been reported that cafés and restaurants may also get the green light. Whilst evangelicals dispute whether the Sabbath is required (in light of passages such as Matt. 5:18, Mark 2:28, Col. 2:16-17, and Rom. 14:5), undoubtedly such plans will affect Christians as churches begin to reopen.
In a letter to the UK government in early June, a call was made by 25 church leaders to allow the reopening of churches in light of the many shops and schools that have started returning to a ‘new normal’.
Whilst recognising the urgency with which the government acted, Revd Dr David Hathaway, said: ‘The government has failed to recognise the centrality of faith to a Christian’s life. Sunday worship and access to church buildings has been treated like a mere hobby or pastime rather than foundational to national and Christian life.’ Meanwhile, the Isle of Man has indicated that churches can begin to meet together again for worship from mid June with 1 metre social distancing measures. With its own Government and strategy to deal with the virus, the island has had no new cases of Covid-19 for just over three weeks.
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