Law and religion round-up – 18th April

Good Friday and COVID-19 in Balham

As we noted without comment in the round-up on 4 April, two Metropolitan Police Officers interrupted the Good Friday Liturgy at the Polish Roman Catholic Church of Christ the King in Balham, telling those present that gatherings “with this many people” were unlawful under the COVID-19 restrictions and ordering them to disperse or risk either a £200 fine or being arrested.

Evidently the Met has had second thoughts. The BBC reports that DS Andy Wadey had addressed the congregation after Mass on Sunday. He said that the COVID-19 restrictions had been challenging for faith communities, but the restrictions had been designed to protect and support communities in staying safe during the pandemic. He conceded, however, that “many people were very upset by what happened on Good Friday and we deeply regret that” and said that there had been “significant reflection and learning” by both officers and senior leaders at New Scotland Yard. Continue reading