The three cathedral of our diocese are readying to welcome people back into their buildings following the Government’s announcement that churches may open for private prayer from tomorrow.
Each of our magnificent cathedrals is unique in the way it serves the needs of worshippers and each are on their own tailored journeys to different reopening dates, firstly at Ripon, then Bradford and then Wakefield.
New safety measures for all three will mean a limited number of people allowed inside at any one time, much reduced seating, hand sanitisers at appropriate points, continuous cleaning and new signage to remind people of the health and safety regarding social distancing.
Ripon Cathedral plans to re-open its doors and welcome people back into the building for private prayer and reflection from Monday, June 15, with measures in place to ensure the safety of visitors and staff alike.
The cathedral will be open from 10am to 4pm Monday to Saturday and from 12pm to 4pm on Sundays. Printed and downloadable material will be available to help people with their devotions and there will be an opportunity to light a candle at various prayer stations.
The Dean of Ripon, the Very Revd John Dobson said: “Here at Ripon Cathedral we have been working towards a phased reopening; our primary concern is to give people an opportunity to pray in this ancient church, where prayers have been offered for over 1,300 years, while ensuring the safety of everyone – our regular worshippers, visitors, clergy, staff, and volunteers.
“We look forward to welcoming back those who wish to light a candle, say a prayer or reflect on these unprecedented times, whilst at the same time doing our utmost to ensure the safety and well-being of all."
It will continue to offer digital services and prayer resources and these, together with full details can be found at www.riponcathedral.org.uk
Measures are being put in place at Bradford Cathedral so it can reopen is doors and welcome people back into the building safely for private prayer and reflection.
It will open on Wednesday, June 17, initially from Wednesday to Sunday, 2pm to 4pm only.
The Dean of Bradford, the Very Revd Jerry Lepine, said: "We are delighted to be re-opening the cathedral for individual prayer. This is the beginning of a journey back towards normality, which might take some months.
“We have been working towards a phased reopening and our primary concern is the safety of everyone - the public, 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. We would ask for your patience during these times and that all visitors help us by keeping to the new measures in place. We look forward to welcoming you again."
More details can be found at www.bradfordcathedral.org/
Wakefield Cathedral’s goal is to begin a phased re-opening from July 1.
The Dean, the Very Revd Simon Cowling, said careful preparations were taking place to allow the cathedral to open its doors once more - but that the historic Grade 1 listed building would not open until it was safe to do so.
He said; “We welcome the announcement that places of worship can open for private prayer.
“Here at Wakefield Cathedral our primary concern is the safety of visitors, staff and volunteers.
“There is much to be done, and while we long to open our doors again as soon as possible, 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”.
The Cathedral Kitchen, the Cathedral Shop and the toilets will not be open at this time and will be part of a later phase of the re-opening.
The cathedral will continue to offer digital worship and reflections and further details can be found at: www.wakefieldcathedral.org.uk/