At the Commission of Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland held on 3rd March 2021, Commissioners asked that the COVID-19 Committee contact the First Minister and ask the Scottish Government to prioritise the reopening of places of worship.
In a letter sent by Moderator Rev. Donnie G. Macdonald on behalf of the COVID-19 Committee, he acknowledged the decision to close churches was taken "to control the COVID-19 virus, prevent our health services from being overwhelmed and limit the loss of life", but he also stressed the importance of Christian gathering for worship and the benefits that churches bring to their communities.
Expressing his thankfulness for the COVID-19 vaccine program and the public's adherence to difficult lockdown restrictions he hoped these measures would "accelerate the return of the country to a measure of normality."
With the Government prioritising the return of pupils to school due to a concern for their health and wellbeing, Mr Macdonald urged the Government to recognise the "detrimental effect closing places of worship can have on the health and wellbeing of faith communities."
The First Minister had previously announced that places of worship would likely open on the 5th of April if conditions were to improve. Mr Macdonald asked the First Minister to consider opening churches a day earlier to allow Christians to gather for Easter Sunday services which for many "is one of the most important days in the Christian calendar."
In closing, Mr Macdonald made the First Minister aware of the Church's prayers for her and her team telling her "We continue to pray for you, the First Minister, and for the Scottish Government, praying that as you seek to guide the country during a very difficult time, that God would guide you, and those who advise you, to do what is right and best. "
Read the letter in full here