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Video: NI churchgoers welcome relaxation of coronavirus lockdown for private worship

Churchgoers have welcomed the relaxation of the coronavirus lockdown regulations for private worship.

Churches have been allowed to open their doors for acts of individual prayer to the public, however, for services they can only provide drive in services.

For those that have opened, they have in place one-way systems, new cleaning regimes and blocked off seats to ensure social distancing.

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A drive-in service at Dunseverick Baptist Church

A drive-in service at Dunseverick Baptist Church

A drive-in service at Dunseverick Baptist Church

Father Sean Emerson of St Comgall's in Antrim said it was good to have some form of normality return.

He said there had been a good reception to the online services.

But he said it was very important for some to be able to pray in front of God.

"For some being in the church is that wee bit more special," he said.

He said they had not considered drive-in services as it would be difficult to receive the holy communion and it was safer to conduct services online.

Parishoners Jim and Mary Gallagher have been watching services online.

Mary said she missed the community aspect of services, the person-to-person with the priest and being able to see the blessing of the sacrament.

"The whole centre focus of our mass is the Eucharist and that is the one bit you can't replicate at home," she added.

"But our priest have been fantastic in what they have been able to do."

Jim added: "We missed the missed social aspect of it - but it is more relaxed at home. You don't have to get dressed up for it."

Belfast Telegraph