Cathedral Closures – An Update

Leicester and St Edmundsbury are the latest cathedrals to close their doors to support the national effort to stop the spread of the infection, keep people safe, and protect the NHS.

An update on the state of Cathedral closures wherever you are.

They join Southwell Minster, Birmingham, Bristol, Chester, Canterbury, Liverpool, Truro, Sheffield, Guildford, St Paul’s, Southwark, Ely, Rochester, Salisbury, Cathedral Isle of Man and York Minster which have all taken the decision to close following consultation with their Public Health officials on rising infection rates in their communities.

Bradford, Chelmsford, Christ Church Oxford, Lincoln, Lichfield, Truro, Wakefield, Hereford, Derby, Blackburn, Manchester, Norwich, Peterborough, Wells, Winchester, Worcester and St Asaph from the Church in Wales have all suspended public worship but are currently open for private prayer and reflection at limited times– subject to regular review.

Chichester Cathedral remains open for services, prayer and reflection but has reduced capacity at its services to just 40 people on top of its existing Covid precautions and is exploring ways of further live streaming more services.

Coventry and St Albans are also offering a reduced number of public services each week – under strict Covid guidelines – and have limited their opening hours for private prayer and reflection.

In a statement on their website St Albans said:

“On Monday 11 January Chapter reluctantly made the decision to close the Cathedral to the public whilst the Sunday Sung Eucharist is live streamed at 10am. Numbers wishing to attend in person are too high and we need to make sure everyone is as safe as possible.

We continue to be open daily from 8.30am until 4.30pm (11am until 4.30pm on Sunday) and all other services remain open to the public, as numbers attending are small and wide distancing is easily achieved.

We are very conscious that the new virus brings with it an increased risk, and so we urge anyone who has any degree of vulnerability through age or other causes to join us for services online rather than coming in person.

Please do join in our online worship, come and find some peace in the Cathedral and remember that the Cathedral community continue to pray daily for a swift end to this pandemic.”

All cathedrals are reviewing the situation on a daily basis.

Under the latest Government rules, places of worship can currently remain open for private prayer, reflection and public worship. Many cathedrals are urging people to stay home, keep safe and protect the NHS, and all of them are offering prayer and worship online and other online so people can join in where they are.

Please be assured all our cathedrals continue to follow the latest public health and government guidance on the safe use of places of worship which includes observing social distance, making sure visitors do not mingle with anyone outside their household or support bubble, and offering hand sanitising stations.

Please visit your cathedral’s website for the latest up to date information. All of our cathedrals websites and social media accounts can be found here.