Anglican Churches across the Diocese of Chichester are now working extremely hard to re-open their doors for private prayer in the days and weeks ahead.
The Government announced last week that churches could open for private prayer from Saturday, June 13. Aware that this move was likely at some point during the month of June, many parishes had already been making plans to open as soon as everything was in place.
The Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, wrote a letter to local MPs two weeks ago asking for this next stage to be allowed so he is obviously delighted that we have arrived at this point. He said: “But it is important to stress that there is no pressure, no rush to do this. Parishes have been encouraged to proceed as and when they are able and with everything in place to make sure that all advice is carefully followed.”
Chichester Cathedral is opened its doors on Monda (June 15) for the first time since March so that people can make their pilgrimage there for private prayer and reflection.
“While there is no public worship, votive stands will be available for you to light a candle. The Blessed Sacrament is reserved in Saint Clement’s Chapel off the South Aisle, which is set aside for private prayer,” the cathedral website announced today.
Like many parishes, key tasks involve signage, seating and safety measure to ensure that everyone is protected including those volunteers who are willing to welcome any visitors.
In the meantime all the main public worship services continue to be either live streamed or broadcast as live reflecting a wide range of traditions and worship styles.
“Parishes have been hugely innovative and are to be congratulated in what they have managed to do during these past few weeks and months,” added Dr Warner.