Durham Cathedral demands Covid passes from worshippers
urham Cathedral is demanding Covid passes from worshippers – in defiance of official Church of England guidance.
Those attending Christmas services will need to show proof either that they are vaccinated, have tested negative within the previous 48 hours or have recovered from the virus.
The move has sparked anger amid claims that it is 'profoundly at odds' with the spirit of the festive season.
In its Covid guidance, the Church says it has 'a clear policy of encouraging people to be vaccinated, but, other than in very exceptional circumstances, [it is opposed] to limiting access to church services or organisations on the basis of vaccine certification'.
It adds: 'Such an approach would run contrary to the principle of the Church being a home and a refuge for all.'
But authorities at the 928-year-old cathedral – which is the seat of the Bishop of Durham, Paul Butler – said they have 'taken a cautious approach to the Covid-19 restrictions from the start of the pandemic and we're continuing to keep measures in place to minimise risk and reduce the pressure on our NHS services'.
Around 80 per cent of its festive services will require a Covid pass.
The Rev Jamie Franklin, one of 1,000 church leaders to send Boris Johnson an open letter describing vaccine passports as a 'fundamental betrayal of Christian belief', urged the dean and chapter to reconsider their stance.
He said: 'Christmas is a time when we remember God's willingness to be with the lowly, the outcast and the poor.
'The decision to bar from entry to church a sub-section of society who are deemed to be unclean and dangerous is profoundly at odds with the Christmas message.'
Jodie Beck, of civil rights group Liberty, said: 'Durham Cathedral should not be arbitrarily making rules that affect how people can access services.'
The Church of England said: 'We won't be commenting on Durham Cathedral.'
Reference: Jacinta Taylor For The Mail On Sunday
- Warning dangerous dupe of Zamzam holy water could be on sale in Leicester
- What it's like to be an Orthodox Jew in the UK today
- Why is Friday the 13th considered unlucky?
- Sacked church charity worker awarded £8,000 after dispute over ‘priest's affair’
- Church elder who stole woman's £600,000 ordered to pay back just £1
- Pope approved secret €1m bid to free kidnapped nun, says disgraced cardinal
- Ramadan 2022: Thousands joined by mayor for Iftar in Trafalgar Square for last week of fasting
- Three Scientology defectors sue church leader David Miscavige
- Caste pervasive across Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and other faiths
- Vatican suspends Jerusalem meeting between pope, Russian patriarch
- French nun Sister Andre, 118, claims title of world's oldest person
- St George's Day 2022: He wasn't England's first patron saint and 8 other facts
- Sweden hit by fourth day of unrest over planned Quran burnings
- Pope condemns Russia for ‘cruel and senseless’ invasion of Ukraine in sermon on ‘Easter of War’
- Archbishop of Canterbury hits out at Government plan to send migrants to Rwanda
- Those in public life should act with integrity, Archbishop of York suggests
- Royal Maundy Service explained as Queen misses it for first time in 52 years
- Jerusalem clashes: More than 150 Palestinians wounded as Israeli police enter Temple Mount
- Historians are questioning if Jesus ever existed at all
- Christian Media Center CEO: Fewer pilgrims for Easter as terror spikes
- Let There Be Light
- Plants that feel and Speak
- The Singing Forest
- The Singing Forest-2
- Using Essential Oils for Spiritual Connection
- Heaven Scent
- Plants that Feel and Speak-2
- Making the Spiritual Connection
- The Sanctity of Plants
- The Aroma Of Worship - Introduction
- Essential Oils: The unseen Energies
- The Aroma Of Worship-Foreward
- Methods Of Use
- Handling and Storage
- Spiritual Blending