More Church of England Cathedrals have announced they are suspending public worship to keep people safe and protect the NHS in the face of rapidly rising infection rates across the country.
Cathedral closures announced to protect the public and NHS.
Worship is available online so people can join in from their own homes. Some cathedrals will open their doors for a limited time during the day for private prayer and reflection– but this will be subject to regular review.
St Paul’s, Southwark, and Chelmsford cathedrals suspended worship following the Mayor of London’s declaration of a Major Incident in the city over the weekend. St Paul’s and Southwark will remain closed but Chelmsford is currently open for a limited period for private prayer and reflection.
More about the closures here.
Ely, Rochester, York Minster, Isle of Man and Salisbury have also taken the decision to close.
Christ Church Oxford, Lincoln, Lichfield, Truro, Wakefield, Hereford, Derby, Blackburn, Liverpool, Norwich, Birmingham, Peterborough and St Asaph from the Church in Wales have all suspended public worship but are currently opening for private prayer and reflection at limited times and days through the week.
Bristol, Chester, Coventry, Leicester, Manchester, Winchester, St Edmundsbury, Wells and Southwell are open for a very limited time, with just one or two services of public worship offered each week, but the situation is being reviewed on a daily basis.
The Very Reverend Adrian Dorber, Dean of Lichfield and Chair of the Association of English Cathedrals, said:
“We have grown increasingly concerned about the rising infection rates in our country and wish to support the stay at home message which is so critical to controlling the virus.
“We are at a unique point in our fight against this pandemic, there is hope in the new vaccines that have become available to us, and we need to tighten our resolve now more than ever to keep each other safe and protect the NHS.
“There will be time again for us to meet, give thanks, to remember, and to grieve, but for now we need to do all we can to protect each other and protect all our front line workers in the NHS, social care and education.
“Cathedrals and churches will be keeping daily patterns of prayer going. They will be at the heart of local initiatives to serve and meet need, including supporting local vaccine clinics.
“And they stand, as they always have done, as silent but permanent signs of God’s presence alongside us.”
All our cathedrals are offering worship online, most offer an online facility to post a prayer or light a virtual candle.
Please check your local cathedral website to find out how to join a service online and for up to date information.