Church leaders cautiously excited to restart services
Faith leaders in Staffordshire today made a rallying cry for people to “please keep visiting” as churches and cathedrals prepare to reopen.
Lichfield Cathedral is due to open on Tuesday for the first time since its closure in March – and is being seen as a “significant step” out of lockdown for churches in the county.
Other churches which have also reopened include St Mary’s in Stafford – which held its first service on Sunday, July 5 – but other places of worship are still holding off from opening their doors.
Church leaders have voiced caution going forward for churches as they prepare to open to the public.
The Bishop of Lichfield, Dr Michael Ipgrave welcomed the government announcement that churches could reopen this month, saying it would bring a sense of relief to many to be able to worship together in the building they call “home”.
He said of Lichfield Cathedral’s reopening: “This is a significant step on the journey out of lockdown for our churches which I welcome.
“For others, there may be nervousness due to the continued, and real, threat of coronavirus which has had such a devastating impact in our communities.
“That is why there will be no pressure for churches to open their buildings until they are ready.
“Each minister or church will want to take into account their local circumstances in deciding how and when to respond.”
The Dean of Lichfield Rev. Adrian Dorber urged people to “please keep visiting” but to do so safely.
He said: “It’s been good to have had the doors open for private prayer each afternoon since mid-June and now we are able to extend our hospitality a little more widely.
"We won’t be reverting to past custom and practice, so everyone will be asked to check-in.
"We know how much people love the cathedral and we appreciate the support and interest the cathedral receives.
"Please keep visiting, we want to see, you but let’s look after one another by respecting the new arrangements."
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