ADF International

Let Us Worship

Canon Tom's parish need an open church to turn to for comfort and hope.

Churches in England, Northern Ireland, and Wales are allowed to remain open, while Scottish authorities deny this right to communal worship.

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  • Yes, I support the right to freedom of worship. Canon Tom White should be able to worship freely in public.

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"As a priest, I need to open my church to support my community in their hour of need."

Canon Tom is challenging the Scottish government's blanket ban on public worship.

Scottish communities are the only in the UK to face a total ban on churches due to Covid-19.

In Canon Tom’s parish in The Calton, Glasgow, grief is no stranger. The area is home to three of the most deprived communities in the whole of the UK, with a reported life expectancy worse than that of Bagdad.

Now, the effects of the pandemic are weighing heavily on the community.

“As a priest, I have witnessed first-hand the grief and suffering that Covid-19 has caused for my parish members. Therefore I know, as a priest, that we need to open my church to be able to support them best in their hour of need,” says Canon Tom White.

The Scottish government, however, have completely banned all Churches from opening; even while authorities in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and most of the rest of Europe have managed to find solutions which maintain public worship with safety measures that protect public health.

Meanwhile in Scotland, “essential” businesses, including bicycle shops, remain open. Westminster's chief medical and scientific advisors have conceded that the evidence for closing Churches is "very weak". Assertions referring to transmissions when travelling to-and-from Covid-secure Church meetings is "anecdotal" rather than based on "scientific fact".

Why have the Scottish government adopted such a disproportionately restrictive approach to freedom of worship?

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We must find solutions which protect both the vulnerable, and those who understand their communal worship to be as essential as food and water.
Freedom of Religion is Foundational to all Human Rights
Scottish Communities Should not be Disadvantaged from Being Offered this Source of Hope.
“I know, as a priest, that we need to open my church to be able to support my parish in their hour of need.” Canon Tom White

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