Statement – UK Lockdown

23rd March 2020

Our buildings might be closed to keep us all safe – but we are here.

Ever present.

It is with a heavy heart that we close our Cathedrals during this crisis as a necessary contribution to keeping all of us healthy and safe.

This move goes against our established pattern of being open and available for everyone. It is this openness and accessibility that demonstrates the openness and generosity of God’s welcome and love for all people.

Yet, when human touch and closeness have become risky, and even toxic, it doesn’t mean that God is far away, but that the Church has to find new, creative, and imaginative ways of being available, enabling prayer and worship, and listening carefully to everyone’s needs and questions.

Cathedrals will be keeping their daily patterns of prayer going.

They will be at the heart of local initiatives to serve and meet need.

They stand, as they always have done, as silent but permanent signs of God’s presence alongside us.

We’ll be using every means to stay in touch with our communities and for people to feel they can access these places of assurance, delight and inspiration.

The Very Reverend Adrian Dorber, Dean of Lichfield, Chair of AEC