NSW churches reopen amid eased virus rules

From Friday, the state’s churches and places of worship were allowed to welcome 10 people back inside their doors.

Religious organisations moved services and mass online following the introduction of restrictions in NSW almost eight weeks ago.

But in a small step forward, Catholic churches across NSW, including Sydney’s St Mary’s Cathedral, reopened on Friday for private prayer, confession and small-scale masses.

“While it will take some time to return to larger celebrations, this first step will offer comfort to many Catholics who have been deeply missing attending mass,” Sydney’s Archbishop Anthony Fisher said in a statement on Thursday.

Other faiths are taking a different approach with a large number of Jewish synagogues, Islamic mosques, Sydney’s Anglican diocese and the NSW/ACT Uniting Church all deciding to keep their doors closed.

“Some NSW synagogues will reopen their doors for services tonight, although they will, of course, restrict numbers so as to comply with government restrictions and ensure that congregants maintain the requisite social distancing,” NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive Vic Alhadeff said in a statement on Friday.

“However, a significant number of synagogues are not reopening their doors yet and prefer to wait longer.”

Read the article by Heather McNab in The Standard.