Priests and parish volunteers' high standards of infection control means public worship and parish life can carry on, despite a rise in the rate of Covid-19 infections.

In a letter sent to Scotland’s 500 Catholic parishes, the bishops of Scotland said that Catholic churches are among the safest places to attend thanks to “meticulous” infection control and safety measures.

Bishop John Keenan, Vice President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland said: “The tireless work of priests, parishioners and volunteers have ensured that Catholic churches are among the safest places for people to attend in the midst of this Pandemic.

"The bishops are urging everyone to redouble their efforts to reduce the risk of transmission and ensure that we all adhere to the infection control measures that we have put in place.”

He added: “Although no evidence has emerged of cases or clusters connected to our churches, we have every confidence that, if parishes continue their high standards of infection control, then public worship and parish life can carry on and we will continue to be able to attend to the spiritual welfare of the nation.”

“Among the many terrible effects of this pandemic is a surge in cases of depression, hopelessness and suicide. The loss of normality in all its facets has left many feeling bereft and desolate, in need of spiritual solace, like never before.

It is in times of greatest peril that we need the spiritual comfort of public worship most, now, more than ever, our church doors need to be open, so that worshipping in safety can continue.”

Read the letter here.