CHURCHGOERS' prayers are set to be answered with the State Government expected to further ease restrictions on the number of parishioners allowed in places of worship.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian is expected to announce that places of worship will be permitted to have up to 50 people inside from Monday, on the condition that social distancing is adhered to.
Weddings will also be allowed to have up to 20 people, and 50 at funerals.
The easing of restrictions follows a concerted campaign by the state's Catholic Church in recent days calling for places of worship to be treated the same as pubs, which will also enjoy eased restrictions from Monday.
Catholic Bishop of Bathurst, Michael McKenna, joined a chorus of bishops on Thursday in calling for churches to be included in the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in NSW next week.
Bishop McKenna congratulated the government for the way it has led the state through these days of pandemic and said he welcomed the careful new measures that will see pubs and other venues be allowed to serve up to 50 people at a time.
But, he said he was puzzled that there had been no official word so far on letting more people come to church.
Church services are a truly an essential service.Catholic Bishop of Bathurst, Michael McKenna
But, he said he is puzzled that, so far, there is no word on letting more people come to church.
"The NSW Catholic bishops wrote to the Premier at the beginning of May, outlining a step-by-step plan to safely re-open churches for worship," he said.
"It has been great to begin this with congregations of 10, and priests and parishioners have worked hard to follow all the rules necessary.
"However, if it's safe to have 50 people in a pub, it's surely safe to have that number in a church. I've spent time in both, so I speak from experience."
Although the Government has so far been non-committal in responding to the bishops' call, Bishop McKenna is confident that churchgoers will not be forgotten as new regulations are rolled out.
"Church services are a truly an essential service," he said.
Since public gatherings, including church services, were banned under the strict COVID-19 laws, back in March many parishioners have been attending Mass online, with the Catholic Cathedral live streaming services.
Over 300 people watched the Easter Masses live followed by close to 5,000 views over the next day.
There are also many people joining the online Mass from outside the Diocese, as far away as Vietnam, the USA, Borneo and the UK.
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