Law and religion round-up – 3rd July

COVID-19 update

The final Terms of Reference for the UK COVID-19 Inquiry were published on Tuesday. The original draft terms have been revised to include “the closure and reopening of the hospitality, retail, sport and leisure, and travel and tourism sectors, places of worship, and cultural institutions”. The Inquiry is now officially under way.

Although we are not publishing regular posts on COVID-19, we note that the latest ONS data for the week ending 24 June 2022 reported that “[t]he percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) continued to increase across the UK, likely caused by increases in infections compatible with Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5”. In England and Wales, the estimated number of people testing positive for COVID-19  equated to around 1 in 30 people; 1 in 25 people in Northern Ireland; and 1 in 18 people in Scotland.

As to guidance from UK faith groups, that of the Church of England is perhaps the most up-to-date, yet it was last updated on 3 May 2022, when the guidance relating to the administration of Holy Communion was changed “to clarify that unless there are clear and objective reasons not to, Holy Communion should now be offered in both kinds to communicants”.

Archbishops’ Commission on Racial Justice releases First Biannual Report

On 28 June 2022, the Archbishops’ Commission for Racial Justice released the first of its biannual Racial Justice reports, from which extracts relevant to the consistory courts are posted here. The Report’s recommendations are heavily influenced by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Synod comments on Rustat, which were dismissive of the “false narrative” of the findings of the court.

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