PLACES of worship are preparing to re-open for communal gatherings in the Wee County this weekend.

With slowly easing coronavirus restrictions, places of worship are expected to be allowed to welcome people into buildings from this Friday, March 26.

The lifting of restrictions comes just in time for Easter and other religious holidays, such as Passover and Ramadan.

The decision to allow places of worship to re-open was set to be ratified yesterday as the Advertiser went to print.

Physical distancing between households, contact tracing, restrictions on numbers and the prohibition of singing are expected to remain in place.

Reverend Drew Barrie, of St Serf's Church in Tullibody, is looking to welcome back members of his congregation on Palm Sunday, March 28.

He told the Advertiser: “I think it has been very difficult for people.

“Although we have been very fortunate to be able to maintain some of our services over Zoom [online], not everyone who normally comes to church is either technically able to use Zoom or some maybe would choose not to because it's a different feel to being at worship.”

Due to the size of the building, there will be limitations on the number of people allowed and St Serf's, just as many other places of worship, will be running two services to increase capacity.

Cathy Gladwin, session clerk at Dollar Parish Church, is also looking forward to the re-opening.

Plans and teams are in place to ensure everything goes smoothly, including cleaning between the morning and evening service this Sunday.

Cathy said: “We've got a lot of positive feedback from people saying they can't wait to get back.”

People at Dollar Parish Church are being asked to book in advance by Thursday via secretary@dollarparischurch.org.uk.