23rd July 2021
Monday was called by many ‘freedom day’, but as it approached it became apparent that ‘freedom’ might not have been the right word. For some of us, a lowering of protection meant fear and uncertainty, especially as in some places there has been a recent rise in the number of infections.
Here in Derby Cathedral we have considered the matter carefully and paid close attention to government guidelines and also the Church of England’s own guidelines. We have tried to balance the freedom which we all look forward to with caution, taking account of our own thorough risk analysis. We have adopted a prudent approach that comes into being immediately, one that will help us all to keep safe.
So what will be different? You will no longer require a temperature check, although we still ask that you sanitise your hands, use the NHS Test and Trace app or complete a form for contact tracing purposes. Everyone is encouraged to still wear a face mask whilst walking around the building, but these can be lowered whilst seated. Social distancing will now be at 1m, which in practice means every other pew will be in use, this increases the capacity of the building slightly so whilst the 10.45am Sunday Eucharist Service is still available for booking on Eventbrite, we will be able to accommodate more walk-ins at the Service.
A piece of good news! The congregation is able now to join in the singing. We are going to sing two hymns at our main Sunday service and you can choose whether you sing with your mask on or off. When we receive Holy Communion you will need to put your mask on and the person who brings you communion will also wear their mask as they pass over the wafer.
For the moment, we will continue to offer Communion in one kind and also for the moment we will continue with the current means of exchanging peace in a socially distant manner.
The safety of us all is of paramount importance and we will review the lifting of restrictions as the weeks go by or if there are any government or Church of England changes.
Please click here to see the full announcement from the Dean recorded in the Cathedral.