Preparations are underway and measures are being put in place at Chester Cathedral so it can re-open its doors and welcome people back into the building safely for private prayer and reflection.
The Government announced late on Saturday night that all places of worship could open for supervised private prayer from Monday 15 June in line with the latest Government and Public Health social distancing guidelines to ensure people’s safety.
Measures to keep people safe will include limiting the number of people allowed inside at any one time, hand sanitisers at appropriate points, and signage to remind people of the health and safety around social distancing. For the time-being, the Cathedral will open limited hours of 10am – 4pm daily.
The Refectory Café, gift shop and toilets will not be open at this time and will re-open as part of a later phase. The Cathedral Gardens re-opened a number of weeks ago, to allow people space within the city to pray, relax and reflect.
The Dean of Chester, the Very Revd Dr Tim Stratford said “We welcome the announcement that places of worship can open from Monday 15 June. Here at Chester we have been working towards a phased reopening and our primary concern is the safety of everyone – the public, our worshippers, our visitors, staff and volunteers.”
“There is much to be done, and while we long to open our doors again, and welcome back those who wish to light a candle, say a prayer or reflect on these unprecedented times, we must ensure the safety and well-being of all. Since we finalised our arrangements to open on Monday, the Government has announced Saturday as an earlier opening date. Due to staff training required over the weekend, Chester Cathedral cannot safely open earlier at such short notice.”
Chester Cathedral relies upon the generosity of its congregation and visitors to open its doors and maintain the magnificent building at the heart of the city. Having closed in March 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic brings financial insecurity upon the Cathedral, and now, more than ever, it needs your support to recover over the coming months and years. People can donate to the Cathedral by clicking to chestercathedral.com/donate-now
Meanwhile, Chester Cathedral will continue to offer digital services to all, and these can be found at chestercathedral.com/stream