Southwark Cathedral will be re-opening its doors for individual private prayer from Saturday 4 July and for limited public worship from Monday 6 July. By that time, the Cathedral will have been closed to the public for 103 days - which is thought to be the longest that it has ever closed its doors for in its 1400-year history.
Whist the Cathedral’s buildings have been closed; the Cathedral has introduced online worship, with daily services streamed on its Facebook page. These services have allowed a new group of people to join regular members of the congregation in experiencing the warmth of the Cathedral’s welcome, albeit in the digital, rather than the physical world.
The Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, said “I am delighted that Southwark Cathedral, the mother church of our Diocese, is now able to re-open its doors to the public. It is right that people can now come to offer their personal prayers and once again be able to join together in public worship in this sacred space”
The Dean of Southwark, the Very Revd Andrew Nunn, said “We are looking forward to being able to open our doors and to welcome people back into our beautiful building to find space to pray privately and individually and to join in a limited amount of amount of public. We will also be continuing to offer services online while we still have to limit the number of people that can enter”.
Southwark Cathedral will be open for individual private prayer from 10am to 3pm daily and will be reintroducing public worship gradually over the next couple of months. Any public worship in the Cathedral will have to be capacity restricted in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines and people may have to queue before they enter the building.
The Cathedral has prepared for the re-opening by introducing a one-way route through the building via a designated entrance and exit and a walkthrough video showing the route can be found here. There will also be hand sanitizer stations throughout the site and frequent cleaning and disinfecting of touchpoints including handles, rails, seating and toilet facilities.
During the lockdown the Cathedral has also been awarded the Visit England ‘You’re good to good’ Industry Standard. The mark signifies that they are following the guidance correctly to re-open safely. The mark will be used across the industry.
A PDF Copy of this news release can be found here