Justin Welby has doubts about Covid church closures

(Photo: Unsplash/Fran├žois Genon)

The Archbishop of Canterbury has admitted to having second thoughts about the Church of England's church closure policy during the pandemic.

Archbishop Justin Welby told the Radio Times he had been "too risk averse" in his decision to close churches after the outbreak of Covid-19.

However, he suggested that the decision had been taken with other leaders of the Church. 

"It wasn't just me. It's not a dictatorship. I am not the Pope. But I had an influence and I'm not sure I got that right," he said. 

The closure of churches led to outcry from some corners of the Church of England, with a number of its priests backing campaigns to keep doors open. 

Reflecting on the CofE's response to the pandemic, the Archbishop suggested decisions had been taken based on their understanding of the virus at the time. 

"If I had the time again, I would be more cautious about closing the churches," he said. 

"At the time, we were being told the virus can stay on surfaces for ages and that it could kill 30% of the people who caught it."