12 June 2020
Places of worship will be able to reopen from today (Friday 12 June) as Jersey moves into Level 2 of the Government’s Safe Exit Framework. Faith leaders are working with government officials to develop guidance for safe reopening.
The Muslim Community Centre plans to reopen today (12 June), with strict social distancing measures, reduced hours and supervision by a third-party security company. The leader of the Jersey Muslim Community, Dr Sarfraz Jamali, said: “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.”
Jersey’s synagogue will reopen on Saturday (13 June), following Government guidelines. The President of the Jersey Jewish Congregation, Stephen Regal, said: “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.”
The Dean of Jersey, Mike Keirle, said: “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.”
From 1 July weddings and funerals will also be able to take place in places of worship, 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.