Peterborough Cathedral is suspending public worship but the choristers will be making use of the internet to cheer up those feeling isolated.
There are plans to broadcast hymns and live stream some Easter services.
Peterborough Cathedral has announced a new way of operating in the light of Government and Church of England advice on facing the coronavirus challenge.
In line with all Church of England places of worship the Cathedral is having to suspend public worship with immediate effect. This means that the daily morning and evening services, as well as all Sunday services, will be said by the Cathedral clergy on duty only without direct participation by the public. Plans are being put in place to live stream some services over the Easter period, so that people can take part from home.
The Very Revd Chris Dalliston, Dean of Peterborough, said – “These are very testing times for all of us, but the message from the Cathedral is clear. Worship and prayer will continue here day by day as they have done for centuries, through good times and bad.
“The doors remain open and you are welcome to come here quietly to pray. Abide by Government advice but stay connected – you can keep up with any live streaming of services, or any blog posts, through our social media and website.”
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and other church leaders, have called for Mothering Sunday, March 22, to be a day of prayer and action. The choristers are recording some hymns which will be available online, via the Cathedral website, for sharing with grandparents and anyone who’s feeling isolated at home. The Lay Clerks (adult singers) hope to record some anthems in the next day or so, which can be incorporated into online Easter services materials.
The Cathedral is still open to visitors who want to go along for private prayer or to listen to a service via the speaker system but you’ll be asked to use hand sanitiser on arrival and to keep an appropriate distance from other people.
The focus will be on ensuring the Cathedral remains open during the crisis. Given that many volunteers may be required to withdraw from unnecessary public contact, the Cathedral Visitor Centre and Shop will be closed for the time being.
The Very Revd Chris Dalliston, Dean of Peterborough, also urged everyone to do their bit for others during the crisis.
“Keep looking out for those who may be in need, and help where you can do so safely. Keep supporting charities like the Food Bank and the Light Project, who need us now more than ever.”
Any public events at the Cathedral between now and the end of May have been postponed.
The Cathedral Office will remain open and staffed on a rota basis. You can get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01733 355315. The Cathedral’s website is www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk