Dear Brothers and Sisters,
You will be aware that the Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick confirmed today that places of worship across England will be permitted to reopen for individual prayer from Monday 15 June.
The statement https://www.gov.uk/government/news/places-of-worship-to-re-open-for-individual-prayer makes clear that new guidance will be published shortly to ensure that this limited re-opening can be done safely and in keeping with social distancing guidelines. Once this new guidance is received it will be considered by the Church of England Recovery Group and detailed guidance will be issued via the Church of England website. We will also write to you with our support and Diocesan guidance building on the national advice already circulated to you by Archdeacons Rick and Bob to help you prepare for these initial steps.
It will be for each PCC to make a considered risk assessed judgment about what is possible given their local circumstances. This will lead to some deciding that opening, perhaps for specific periods, will be possible; for others, it might be that remaining closed for a further period is the appropriate conclusion at this stage.
We know that this news will be welcomed and we are reassured by the Faith Minister Lord Greenhaigh that the hope is that this is the first step on the journey to places of worship reopening fully. All of us will recognise that this is a step that we will need to take steadily and sensitively as we seek to continue to bless our communities in Jesus name as you have been striving to do throughout this crisis and in the most difficult of circumstance.
We remain deeply thankful for all that you are doing.
May the Peace of Christ be with you.
+Paul and +Sarah