Hand sanitiser stations, social distancing signage and limited capacity as Ely Cathedral plans to welcome visitors for private prayer

PUBLISHED: 11:53 23 June 2020 | UPDATED: 11:53 23 June 2020

Preparations are underway at Ely Cathedral so it can re-open its doors in line with the Government’s recent announcement that all places of worship could start to welcome people for private prayer. This is a picture of Ely Cathedral's nave. Picture: TIMOTHY SELVAGE

Preparations are underway at Ely Cathedral so it can re-open its doors in line with the Government’s recent announcement that all places of worship could start to welcome people for private prayer. This is a picture of Ely Cathedral's nave. Picture: TIMOTHY SELVAGE

Archant

Hand sanitiser stations, social distancing signage and a limited capacity are among the ways Ely Cathedral is adapting to life post-lockdown as it prepares to re-open for private prayer from July 3.

Preparations are underway at Ely Cathedral so it can re-open its doors in line with the Government’s recent announcement that all places of worship could start to welcome people for private prayer. This is a picture of Ely Cathedral's nave. Picture: TIMOTHY SELVAGEPreparations are underway at Ely Cathedral so it can re-open its doors in line with the Government’s recent announcement that all places of worship could start to welcome people for private prayer. This is a picture of Ely Cathedral's nave. Picture: TIMOTHY SELVAGE

The team, who have been busy working behind the scenes since the cathedral closed on March 19, say the initial plan is to open from Wednesday to Saturday between 11am and 2pm. Sundays, meanwhile, will be put aside for the clergy to live stream services.

The Refectory café, shop, Stained Glass museum and toilet facilities remain shut, but will be part of a later phase when the cathedral opens its doors to visitors later in July.

“Since closing its doors, the cathedral team has responded to the crisis in creative and innovative ways offering a wide range of support – both practical and spiritual to the community – online and off,” said a spokesperson.

“It has also seen a growing number of people seeking prayer and worship in these uncertain times. 

“The cathedral will continue to offer extensive online services, prayers and support which can be found on the Worship at Home pages via www.elycathedral.org.”

 The Very Revd Mark Bonney, Dean of Ely, said: “I am pleased the Government has allowed churches and cathedrals to open for individual private prayer.

“This is permissive not mandatory guidance, so churches and cathedrals will vary in their opening times.

“The preparation for this to be safe is going to be different for every building, and the safety of all is paramount.

“In Ely we have a great deal to do so will not be ready to open until July 3.

“We very much look forward to welcoming people into the cathedral to pray again.”


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