Government announcement: limited reopening of church buildings
I was interested to learn from Saturday’s teatime government announcement (June 6th) that it may soon be permitted to open church buildings for supervised, individual prayer, a few weeks earlier than had been previously indicated.
This announcement makes it possible to consider some limited reopening of our church doors, but is by no means an instruction that this “must” happen on June 15th. Planning and risk assessment will be ongoing for each of our village churches,as well as discussions between clergy, churchwardens and church council members, as we await further clarification and advice from the Church of England nationally, and the Diocese of York more regionally over the coming days as to how best to respond to this announcement. Each church is different, and so is the availability of our volunteers and staff to do what is necessary to implement any plans.
Look out for updates here and on our website, but do not assume that all churches in the country will be open daily from 15th June. This is not likely to be the case. We have no desire to contribute to the continuing “long tail” of the current Covid-19 infection peak, nor contribute to a second peak so this is not something we shall rush into. You are all precious in God’s sight, and in ours! However, balanced against that, we do take seriously the heartfelt desire of many parishioners, and especially the recently bereaved, to seek comfort in our communities’ sacred spaces and will seek to make them available for individual prayer as soon as we safely can.
Bless you all,
The Reverend Nick Morgan, Priest in Charge