Lockdown rules limit Norwich Cathedral worship to private prayers
- Credit: Archant
Worship limited to prayers and reflection has been introduced at Norwich Cathedral as second lockdown restrictions come into force.
Unlike during the first wave of the virus in the spring, the Government has permitted churches and other religious places of worship to remain open but only for private prayer, with services put on hold for four weeks.
The move has been heavily contested, with a host of faith leaders - including Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby - writing to Mr Johnson to ask that the decision to bar all services except funerals be reversed.
MORE: Virtual tour offers stunning view of cathedral from anywhere in the worldMPs including former prime minister, Theresa May, have also criticised suspension of public worship, saying that it will have unintended consequences
While Norwich Cathedral is now closed for public worship and general visitors, the building and its cloisters is open for individual prayer and reflection every day throughout the lockdown.
The clergy team will continue to offer morning and evening prayer and a Eucharist each day and, on Wednesdays, there will be a Requiem Mass. A video service will be published on the Norwich Cathedral Services YouTube channel every Sunday throughout the lockdown.
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The Dean of Norwich, the Very Revd Jane Hedges, said: “Our message to the wider community is that the cathedral is still here for everybody, so please come in to light a candle, to sit quietly, to speak to a priest, or you can send in your prayer requests to email@example.com.”
Norwich will also be joining cathedrals and churches across the country in ringing its bells at 6pm every day during the lockdown as part of the Prayer for the Nation initiative led by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.
MORE: Royal Mail’s Christmas stamps feature window at tiny Norfolk churchLockdown comes just days before Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day. People can continue to pay their respects and place crosses in the cathedral’s Field of Remembrance, which was opened with an act of worship in October.
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People who would like a loved one remembered, but who are unable to travel, can email their loved one’s name to firstname.lastname@example.org and a name cross will be placed in the field.
The Dean said: “While this year’s acts of remembrance may be different due to the coronavirus pandemic, they are no less significant, and we hope this Field of Remembrance will be a fitting memorial to those who gave their lives for the people of today and tomorrow.”
Plans for Christmas include extra carol services and the usual services on Christmas Day itself, however the public will this year need to apply for free tickets through the cathedral website.