Message from the Bishops regarding the re-opening of church buildings

Published: June 24, 2020

Dear brothers and sisters,

As you will have seen and heard by now, the Government has announced significant relaxation of rules as we continue to emerge from lockdown. This means that as from July 4, our cathedral and buildings can be open once again for public worship as long as physical distancing and public health hygiene measures remain in place. See the Church of England website for the latest guidance and updates.

One point which was unclear from the statement in the House of Commons today was the question of a cap of 30 people. We can confirm that this applies only to weddings and not all services. However, we are aware that you will have numerous questions about a range of practicalities and we want to assure you that advice will be updated in the coming days once the Government guidance has been published.

Regarding singing, there is currently a review by Public Health England into this area and the C of E Recovery Group will reflect its advice once the findings are clear.

We are very aware that this announcement will be met with a mix of emotions and once again we want to stress that the guidance is permissive and not mandatory. It will be important that people work together at local level to make the appropriate decisions for what is right and possible in your different contexts and within the right timeframe. Again, we hope that people will communicate well together across deaneries as we seek to support one another and live out our continued learning.

Thank you for the way you have lived and led over the past few months – we are aware that we are only just beginning the next chapter.

Once the guidance has been published, please do feel free to contact the archdeacons if you have further questions.

This comes with our heartfelt thanks and prayers.

The Rt Revd Rachel Treweek and the Rt Revd Robert Springett

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