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Social distancing limits Easter services at Hillingdon churches

Devoted worshippers across Hillingdon are being limited in terms of Easter celebrations this year due to social distancing, writes EDNA PINTO.

Every year, many Christians around the world spend their Easter Sundays in their churches, local or not. However, this will most likely not be the case for the Christians in the UK, who occupy 59% of the English and Welsh population, according to the 2011 UK census.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, celebrations were abruptly threatened when the country was initially forced into a strict lockdown last March. Whether it was a trip to relatives who lived across the country or a visit to the local Pentecostal church for worship and prayer, the struggle is arguably just as intense for all Christians across the UK.

In 2013, 5.4 million people in the UK were church members, which was 10.4% of the adult population. This represented a decrease of 0.3 million from 2008, when the percentage was 11.8%. Dominant Christian churches include the Roman Catholic church, the Protestant church and the Orthodox church.

Andrew Evans, a vicar at St Nicholas church in Hayes, said: “We’re still having the dawn service with the readings, socially distanced and also online at 10 o’clock. That’s it really.”

Nikki Bell, a church administrator at St John The Baptist C Of E Church in Uxbridge stated: “On the Sunday, we would normally have an Easter Sunday service and an Easter Sunday egg hunt for the children in the church yard.

“This year, a lot of our parishioners have knitted and crocheted flowers and we’re going to put those into the churchyard and we’re going to ask people to come along to do a flower hunt.

“On the Sunday, we’re having an outside service to just mark the day really for Easter Sunday.”

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