Opinion: Places of worship reopen their doors

PUBLISHED: 10:35 17 June 2020 | UPDATED: 10:35 17 June 2020

Mankamal Singh does not want a one-size-fits-all approach to opening places of worship.

Mankamal Singh does not want a one-size-fits-all approach to opening places of worship.


Last Friday, the government issued guidance for the safe use of places of worship during the pandemic.

Places of worship play an important role in providing spiritual leadership for many individuals, and in bringing communities and generations together.

However, their communal nature also makes them places that are particularly vulnerable to the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).

The government has taken a one-size-fits-all approach isolating many of the faith communities where the place of worship plays an integral part to their collective community psyche.

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The Sikh Gurdwaras were in fact a place of worship that never really closed. The Sikh congregation (Sangat) may not have been able to enter the building as they would have before, however the daily activities of the Gurdwaras remained unbroken during the entire lockdown period.

Across the country Gurdwaras still observed all the morning and evening protocols which streamed live online up and down the country.

The langar (free kitchen) evolved into a large outreach operation serving NHS workers and the vulnerable.

On a sadder note, the Gurdwaras conducted hundreds of funerals during this pandemic, many more than they would have otherwise had to as we witnessed a higher level of Covid-related deaths in the BAME communities.

As many of our places of worship reopen, I think many of us will appreciate that normality and spiritual reconnection back into our everyday lives.

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