Reopening of Churches – An Update

Places of worship will be allowed to open for private individual prayer under government plans announced recently. 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, any other communal services or lay group worship. These will be permitted at a later date.

The diocese of Hexham and Newcastle has announced 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.

St. Patrick’s Consett will NOT open immediately on Monday 15th June. The building is to be inspected in a Diocesan risk assessment on Tuesday 16th June and it is hoped that the church will be open for private prayer by the end of the week.

Before St. Patrick’s can open we will need a band of willing volunteers.*

We need people to:

HELP DEEP CLEAN THE CHURCH

HELP STEWARD WHEN CHURCH IS OPEN

HELP TO CLEAN EACH DAY

If you can help please message or phone 01207 502196.

If we don’t have a good number of volunteers, then it will mean we will not be able to reopen.

DAYS AND HOURS OF CHURCH OPENING WILL DEPEND ON THE AVAILABILITY OF THE VOLUNTEERS.

* Volunteers should only be made up of those people who are not at higher risk (e.g. the elderly, those extremely vulnerable and shielding or clinically vulnerable).

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