CATHOLIC churches in Ayrshire want the planned 20-person limit on congregations when churches can re-open for worship to be dropped.

Instead, they are calling for each church to be allowed a congregation in relation to its size, while maintaining measures to limit the spread of coronavirus such as social distancing.

Churches and other places of worship have been closed to communal services since Scotland re-entered lockdown in January.

As part of the Scottish Government’s road map out of lockdown which was revealed last week, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced plans to reopen communal worship in time for the Easter weekend and Passover on April 4.

But services will be limited to congregations of 20.

READ MORE: Ayrshire's lockdown exit plan revealed

In a statement, the Catholic Bishops of Scotland welcomed the announcement but questioned the need for the 20-person cap.

They said: "The Catholic community recognises the seriousness of the pandemic and is committed to working with others to avoid the spreading of infection.

"At the same time, we anticipate ongoing dialogue with the Scottish Government regarding the requirement of a numerical cap on the number of worshippers.

"As we continue to observe social distancing and the protocols on infection control and hygiene formulated by the Bishops’ Conference working group under the leadership of the former Chief Medical Officer, Sir Harry Burns, we maintain that it would be more appropriate for each church building to accommodate a congregation in proportion to its size rather than on the basis of an imposed number."

The Scottish Government’s updated strategic framework for moving out of lockdown states: "Places of worship play an important role in supporting communities and people of faith.

"We recognise the importance of individual and group worship to many people’s spiritual health and general wellbeing.

"When it is safe to do so we will work with the faith community to re-open places of worship in Level 4 areas on the restricted-numbers basis that was allowed before January 8."

What do you think? Leave your comments below.