July 1, 2020
Categorised in: Press releases
Public worship returns to Winchester Cathedral as it re-opens to visitors.
Winchester Cathedral is to start welcoming back its congregation this weekend, following Government guidance that church buildings can re-open for public worship from 4 July.
In the next phase of re-opening, people will be able to attend services at the cathedral on Sundays, for Holy Communion at 8.00am, and Wednesdays for a mid-week Communion at 12pm. Online recorded worship will continue to be offered at 10am on Sundays, to enable everyone to participate.
Dean of Winchester, the Very Revd Catherine Ogle, says:
“The opportunity to return for public worship is very welcome news. It’s the next step on our re-opening journey and we’ve been working hard to ensure we can safely begin to open for public worship, starting with Sundays and Wednesdays.
“There are measures in place to keep everyone socially distanced and safe. While it may feel a bit different at first, everyone can still expect a very warm welcome, whether a returning member or if coming to the cathedral for first time. We will of course continue with online services for those not able to be with us in person.”
The cathedral started phased re-opening from 16 June, including its gift shop. And while open for private prayer and reflection, the move to public worship is welcome news to the congregation. “I am really looking forward to attending a service in the Cathedral” says Judith Hutchinson a member of the congregation:
“When I went to the Cathedral last week, the thought that overwhelmed me was that it had stood as a strong symbol for us all, not just over the last few months, but over so many pandemics and other periods of hardship. It provided a spiritual place for people during the plague, Spanish flu and so much more.”
The cathedral will also be open to visitors on 4 July, including the Refectory, serving teas, coffees, cakes, sandwiches, salads and their famous sausage rolls. On reopening the cathedral to visitors, Head of Visitor Services, Paula Buckell says:
“The team has been meticulously planning to reopen in a way that is safe for everyone and now with perspex screens at counters, gloves, safety signage, and hand sanitisers at the ready, we’re open! It’s fortunate the cathedral offers such a large space for visitors to socially distance. It means we’re able to put all the safety measures in place but keep the experience enjoyable and comfortable for visitors to explore the cathedral.”
Winchester Cathedral will be open every day from 10am-4pm and full details can be found at winchester-cathedral.org.uk