Reopening of Churches: Places of worship will be allowed to open for private individual prayer under government plans to be announced this week.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to discuss the next stage of the lockdown easing with his Cabinet on Tuesday.These measures are expected to come into effect in England on 15 June.
This initial reopening will not include the celebration of Masses, Funeral services, Weddings, Baptisms or any other communal services or lay group worship. These will be permitted at a later date.
The diocese of Hexham and Newcastle has announced today that just FIVE ‘pilot’ churches will open first.
These churches are:
• St Aidan’s, Ashington
• St Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle
• St Patrick’s, Consett
• St Mary’s, Sunderland
• St Joseph’s, Hartlepool
The safety of parishioners, volunteers, staff and clergy will be the highest priority. Full compliance with the Diocesan health and safety regulations and procedures will be required by clergy, employees, volunteers and all visitors.
Volunteers will be needed for church cleaning, and as stewards to ensure social distancing when a church is open.