Malton choir master backs calls to end covid ban on congregational singing
A campaign to overturn the ban on singing in churches has been launched and Martin Dales from Malton says it’s about time too. He’s an organist and choirmaster and is also on the Royal School of Church Music’s York area committee.
Organisers of Sign to Sing, are calling on the Government to overturn a rule which limits vocal musical praise. Currently only six people at a time can sing out.
Martin Dales says under the current Covid restrictions, members of congregations are not allowed to sing hymns or songs of worship inside church buildings in England. Music can only be played on a PA system or performed by socially distanced choirs and musicians.
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“Churches have complied with all of the restrictions imposed and taken all necessary precautions as they have tentatively reopened their doors to worshipers again. He said:
“However, as lockdown has eased and we have seen singing being permitted for football fans at Wembley or even in small pubs across the country, the ban remains in place for church goers.”
In Wales, churches have been permitted to sing inside buildings.
Peter Kerridge, CEO of Premier Christian Communications, which launched the petition, said: “It’s ironic that hymns we listen to at church often exhort us to sing our praises to God, but we can only sit in silence because of the latest government guidelines. It’s frustrating because singing in communion with others is a form of prayer and a much valued part of the church service.
“We were right to be cautious about singing in front of others because we couldn’t be fully sure of the risks. But now we know more about the science and we know that singing poses no more risk than talking, especially when you consider that when we sing we do so mainly in the same direction, but when we talk we are often facing each other.”
Martin Dales says as the Government is preparing to lift most of the remaining restrictions on July 19th he is worried that certain rules will remain and he is hoping this is not one of them.
“It seems to be going on and on and on and with people being double jabbed now, what is the problem?”