Scottish ministers are to face a judicial review into why churches were forced to close their buildings during the current lockdown.
Lord Braid has granted permission for a hearing which will take place remotely on 11 and 12 March after Scottish ministers rejected the arguments of 27 Scottish church leaders in a pre-action letter.
The church leaders argue that the “disproportionate” closures are a breach of human rights law and the Scottish constitution, and are preventing them from meeting the material, emotional and spiritual needs of their congregations and communities.
Rev Dr William Philip, leader of The Tron Church in Glasgow, said he was “pleased” the case is to be heard.
“Criminalising corporate worship is both damaging and dangerous for Scotland,” he said. “We must care for people as whole human beings, and Covid-19 is not the only threat to health and wellbeing.
“I have witnessed first-hand huge suffering through lockdown, not least a huge increase in loneliness, misery and untold damage to mental health.
“The worst deprivations from this ban are inflicted on the poorest, the neediest, the most vulnerable – now excluded from the comfort and encouragement in life and death only Christian worship can give.
“At a time when we have been forcefully confronted with the fragility of mortal life, we have allowed the message of the eternal to be eclipsed entirely by the earthly in the national consciousness.
“There is an urgent need for a message of hope and salvation. This is the calling of the Christian Church – especially in dark and difficult days: Jesus Christ is the only hope that dispels all fear, death included.”
The Scottish Episcopal Church has distanced itself from calls to re-open churches.
• Full story at Christian Today.