Preparations are underway and measures are being put in place at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds, so it can re-open its doors and welcome people back into the building safely for individual private prayer and reflection.
The Government has announced that all places of worship could open for supervised private prayer from 13 June in line with the latest Government and Public Health social distancing guidelines to ensure people’s safety.
It is the start of the journey to re-opening for St Edmundsbury Cathedral which will be open from Monday 15 June from 10.00am to 4.00pm and will be open thereafter Tuesdays to Saturdays.
New measures to keep people safe will include a one way system, limited seating, hand sanitisers at appropriate points and signage to remind people of the health and safety around social distancing.
Pilgrims’ Kitchen (the Cathedral’s restaurant), the Shop and the toilets will not be open at this time and will be part of a later phase.
“We welcome the announcement that places of worship can re-open with the appropriate measures in place,” comments the Very Reverend Joe Hawes, Dean of St Edmundsbury. “We are working towards a phased reopening and our primary concern is the safety of everyone - the public, our worshippers, our visitors, staff and volunteers."
The Cathedral closed its doors on March 23 as the lockdown started. Since that time it has responded to the crisis in creative and innovative ways offering a wide range of support – both practical and spiritual to the community – online and off - and has seen a growing number of people seeking prayer and worship in these uncertain times.
It will continue to offer daily livestreamed services via the Cathedral’s Facebook page (all details here) and other digital resources such as daily music reflections, a virtual prayer wall and virtual pilgrimages (details available here).