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Remembering helps us understand

Catholic Union Deputy Director, James Somerville-Meikle, writes:

Four years ago I remember watching Easter Sunday Mass from Westminster Cathedral on my laptop. I zoomed into the Sanctuary to avoid looking at the empty pews which surrounded it.

For some people, the development of livestream Masses during the pandemic was a God send. But for those who can, taking part in the Triduum services in person is something very special.

It was particularly cruel that the first national lockdown in March 2020 happened just before Easter, which forced our churches to close. The fourth anniversary of that moment seemed like a good opportunity to highlight the impact of this decision and the need to make sure that our churches are never again forced to close.

Following our survey on Covid and places of worship last year, which found that over 60 percent of people had experienced physical or mental health problems as a result of church closures, we have now submitted evidence to the UK Covid-19 Inquiry.

It is vitally important that this publicly funded inquiry delivers answers for all those affected by the pandemic, including people of faith.

The dark days of lockdown seem like a distant memory, but we must not let politicians or policy makers forget the impact it had. Only by understanding can lessons truly be learned for the future.