Visiting the Cathedral during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic
Update 30 June 2020
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: https://youtu.be/DJD-fIK7D_A 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 downloaded here
Update 11 June 2020
Southwark Cathedral plans to re-open for Private Prayer on 4 July 2020. This will be the first phase in re-opening the Cathedral since closure in March due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
A limited part of the Cathedral will be open every day from 10.00am – 3.00pm for individual prayer and reflection. The short video below and further information will help you prepare for your visit.
At this time the Cathedral will not be available for services or general sight seeing and the shop, cafe and meeting areas will remain closed until further notice.
This limited reopening has been planned in accordance with Government guidance and will be continually monitored and updated to ensure safety. More details on our plans to keep our visitors, staff and volunteers safe are listed below.
The Cathedral has implemented a one way route (see map below), with access through the Churchyard Gate on Cathedral Street, opposite the Breadahead Bakery and exiting via the Millennium Courtyard on Montague Close opposite the River Thames.
The Very Reverend Andrew Nunn, Dean of Southwark said;
“We are delighted to be taking this first step in reopening the Cathedral. Many people have said how much they just want to get into this sacred and special place to pray and think and spend time. This is a real opportunity for us to do that and in a safe and secure way. Online worship will continue until we are able to hold services again to which congregations will be welcomed with our usual enthusiasm.”
Whilst services are unable to be held at this time, daily streaming of Morning and Night Prayer (Compline) from the Deanery can be accessed on our Facebook page and our website. Full details can be found here.
You can also continue to send your prayer requests by email here
We will continue to update our website with new information regarding further re-opening including holding public worship.
How are we keeping you safe?
We are committed to the continued well being of all those who visit, work and worship at Southwark Cathedral.
In our on-going efforts to assist our community in preventing the spread of COVID-19, we have implemented the following enhanced protocols and procedures you will notice during your time with us.
- A designated entrance, at the Churchyard gates on Bedale Street and designated exit through the Millennium Courtyard on Montague Close
- A one way route through the Cathedral that reinforces physical distancing guidelines
- A limit to the number of people in the Cathedral at one time – please note you may be asked to queue
- The provision of hand sanitizer stations throughout the site
- Freely available toilet facilities to promote frequent handwashing
- Card and contactless only payment facilities
- Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of touchpoints including handles, rails, seating and toilet facilities
- A copy of our Risk Assesement for public use of Southwark Cathedral during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic can be found here
What can I do to help?
- Please visit us at another time if you or a member of your household or group are feeling unwell
- Wash your hands often using soap or water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser
- Wear a face covering
- Stay at least 2m away from others and follow the one way route around the Cathedral
- If you need to cough or sneeze, please do so into your elbow, not in your hand or the air
Above all, we look forward to welcoming you to the Cathedral from the 4 July.