York Minster will reopen for worship and private prayer on Sunday 14th March, the first public services to be held at the cathedral since the third period of lockdown in January. Daily services and private prayer will resume on Monday 15th March.
Commenting on the announcement, Canon Victoria Johnson, the cathedral’s Precentor said:
“There is an immense sense of anticipation and joy at the prospect of welcoming people to York Minster once more for prayer and reflection and to experience the presence of God in this special place. We will have to operate with restrictions for some considerable period of time so our services will continue to be available via livestream and digital formats for those unable to join us in person.”
In line with government and Church of England guidance, a number of precautions will be in place to help keep visitors and staff safe. These include limiting the number of people allowed inside, reduced seating and a one-way system to allow people to physically distance from one another, hand sanitizer points, additional cleaning measures and staff and clergy wearing face masks and visors to welcome visitors.
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.
In this initial phase of re-opening, only 75 places will be available for the main Sunday services. Admission will be via online booked ticket only.
From 14th March, the pattern for Sunday services will be:
8am BCP Communion (Lady Chapel)
10am Matins (said or sung) 40 people in the Quire until further notice
11am Choral Eucharist
3.15 – 3.45pm Private Prayer
4pm Choral Evensong.
From 15th March, the pattern of daily worship from Monday – Saturday will be:
7.30am Morning Prayer
7.50am Holy Communion
4.30pm Private Prayer
5.30pm Evening Prayer.
Admission for the main Sunday services will be by pre-booked online tickets only. Online booking for Sunday services starting on 14th March will open on Monday 8th March. For further information visit www.yorkminster.org.