Places of worship reopen in Jersey

St John's Church Credit: ITV Channel TV

Jersey's churches, synagogue and Muslim Community Centre are among the places of worship reopening this weekend.

Faith leaders have worked with the government to ensure the environment is safe.

Strict social distancing, limited congregations, reduced hours and no singing are among the restrictions which must be adhered to.

Dr Sarfraz Jamali, leader Jersey's Muslim Community. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Jersey's Muslim Community Centre reopens today (12 June) and has been described as "a welcome relief" by faith leaders.

We look forward to welcoming people returning to our services. It is a welcome relief that things can begin to return to normal, but we would ask everyone to observe the strict social distancing rules that have been put in place.

Dr Sarfraz Jamali, leader Jersey's Muslim Community

Jersey’s synagogue will reopen on tomorrow (13 June).

It will be great to celebrate together again, although we are restricted in numbers. We have managed to maintain contact via social media and now we look forward to meeting in person, with social distancing in place. As we slowly come out of lockdown, I hope and pray that society maintains the cohesion that we have seen here in Jersey.

Stephen Regal, President of the Jersey Jewish Congregation
Rev Mike Keirle, Dean of Jersey Credit: ITV Channel TV

During lockdown, congregations have gathered at home - watching sermons and services via video link.

The Dean of Jersey says this might have to continue for some members of the congregation who are deemed high risk and each faith group will need to make its own decisions about reopening.

Over the last few months faith groups have had to adapt to challenges presented by Covid-19 and have found alternative ways to remain engaged with their congregations, such as through streamed or pre-recorded services. Many of us will need to continue to do so in varying degrees, and for different periods of time, while we put in place the measures necessary to keep people safe. We want to open our doors to Islanders, whether for acts of collective worship or individual prayer, but we need to know we are not putting people at risk. Each faith group will make its own decisions about how and when it opens, however we have been working together to ensure a collective approach where possible.

Rev Mike Keirle, Dean of Jersey
Credit: PA Images

The relaxation of lockdown rules will also see weddings able to take place in places of worship from July 1, as long as Covid safety measures are in place.

The Home Affairs Minister, Constable Len Norman, has proposed changes to Jersey’s marriage and civil partnership law to protect guests, celebrants and couples.

The Superintendent Registrar will issue guidance to be followed during the solemnisation of a marriage or the registration of a civil partnership.