York Minster will reopen for public worship on Wednesday 2nd December and for sightseeing visits on Thursday 3rd December. The cathedral will reopen in line with guidance and the restrictions in the Government’s new three tier Covid control system. York is a Tier 2 location which allows the Minster to reopen for worship and for paying visitors, with appropriate measures in place for social distancing and controlling the spread of the infection.
The Revd Canon Vicky Johnson, Precentor at York Minster said: “It is a blessing and a relief that worship and visiting can restart at York Minster and that we will be present for people as they prepare for Advent and Christmas.“
Vicky explained that the impact of the pandemic will result in a very different Advent and Christmas at York Minster. She said: “The ongoing need to control the virus means that capacity at services will be severely limited. Attendance at key services on Sundays and in Christmas Week will only be possible via our pre-booked online reservation system.”
“However, digital worship has flourished at York Minster this year so all of our Advent and Christmas services and events, will be available digitally via livestream and on platforms such as YouTube and Facebook. So everyone will still be able to experience and enjoy Advent and Christmas at York Minster wherever they are.”
The cathedral’s reopening schedule is as follows:
Public worship will restart at York Minster on Wednesday 2nd December with the following pattern of services:
Monday – Saturdays
7.30am – Matins No booking required
7.50am – Holy Communion No booking required
5.30pm – Evensong or Evening Prayer No booking required until Christmas Week.
8am – Holy Communion No booking required
10am – Matins Booking required
11am – Sung Eucharist Booking required
4pm – Evensong. Booking required.
Reservations for Sunday services and services during Christmas Week
Attendance at the three main Sunday services in December and services during Christmas Week will be by advance online reservation only with a strictly limited attendance. Reservations for the service on Sunday 6th December will open on Monday 30th November. The reservation dates for services during December and Christmas weeks will be announced approximately two weeks before the service is due to take place.
Reopening for Visitors
York Minster will reopen for paying visitors from Thursday 3rd December. Admission by pre-booked online tickets only. Bookings open for visiting on Monday 30th November.
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
10am until 3.30pm (last timed ticket slot is 3pm).
(York Minster is currently closed on Tuesdays).
12.30 until 2.30pm (last timed ticket slot is 2pm).
The Minster Shops inside the cathedral and at Minster Gates will also open daily in line with general visiting times.
The popular green space which runs along the north side of the cathedral, is open daily from 10am until 4pm.
Keeping people safe: Covid-19 control measures at York Minster
In line with Government and Church of England guidance, York Minster has implemented a range of measures to help keep visitors and staff safe. These include:
- compulsory wearing of masks inside the Minster
- limiting the number of people allowed inside
- reduced seating
- a one-way system to allow people to physically distance from one another
- hand sanitizer points
- additional cleaning measures
- staff and clergy wearing face masks and visors
- worshippers attending public services will also be asked to leave their name and contact details to assist with the NHS Test and Trace programme, in line with Government guidance.
Changes to services include no singing or sharing of the Peace and the suspension of the Common Cup during Holy Communion will continue. There will also be no plate collection at the end of services, although people are encouraged to make a donation using contactless donation points inside the cathedral.
Parts of the cathedral will remain closed including the Central Tower and Undercroft Museum and there will be no guided tours.
The Minster has been approved for the UK-wide We’re Good To Go industry standard, launched this week by national tourism organisations for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, which demonstrates it is adhering to the respective Government and public health guidance.
York Minster’s arrangements for worship and visiting will come into effect from Wednesday 2 December but may be subject to change following any further Government advice.
For further information visit www.yorkminster.org.