Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We hope you are keeping well and enjoying a little more freedom now we are beginning to emerge from the worst effects of the pandemic.
As of 12 April, non-essential retail, hairdressers and barbers, libraries and community centres and outdoor hospitality centres and our own Cathedral Café have all been allowed to open in accordance with risk-assessed COVID guidelines. It has been wonderful to see more churches opening up too. We still have some way to go before restrictions are fully lifted and until that time, we continue to advise you to follow the current guidelines, carry out the necessary risk assessments and stay safe.
Indoors and Outdoors
No indoor gatherings of 2 or more people unless all involved are from the same household or 2 linked households.
No outdoor gatherings of more than 6 people unless all involved are from the same household or 2 linked households.
Communal worship is permitted provided that any person attending is: alone or of a group all from the same household or from two linked households and must not join any other group or mingle with any person from another group. A statutory risk assessment must be carried out and all reasonable measures taken to limit risk of transmission of coronavirus. If you would like to offer refreshments outside, after church for example, then please use follow the Rule of 6, ensuring that you have carried out a risk assessment first. The latest guidelines of Permitted Activities from the CofE are available from the above link or the download button below.
Nothing will change before 17 May when hopefully, new guidelines will be issued.
Below is information from the CofE guidance on singing.
Indoors: A single small group of singers – whether amateur or professional – can perform, or rehearse for performance, where essential to an act of communal worship. This should be limited to as few singers as possible. Since April 12, this can include children’s choirs, whether from one school or more than one, following Government advice for out of school settings.
Communal singing, by the congregation, should not take place and strict physical distancing should be observed.
Outdoors: When communal worship takes place in the grounds or the outside space of a place of worship, the congregation may join in with singing, and should follow the principles set out in the Performing Arts guidance. This includes ensuring that congregation members follow physical distancing rules. People can gather in groups of up to six or two households but participating groups should not mingle. A ‘household’ can include a linked support bubble. Communal singing in other public open spaces should not take place. The Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) has produced more detailed resources on singing and music.
Thank a Hero campaign
This campaign is just one of the many ways we are celebrating heroes in our communities. The Daily Mirror has asked for nominations for the Thank a Hero campaign it will be running in June to thank the grass-roots volunteers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in the past year. If you have a nominee in mind, please e-mail [email protected] with the subject line of “Mirror hero” and a short account of the work the nominee has been undertaking, as well as their name, age and where they are from. The Communications Team will then pass this on to the newspaper.
Please remember our brothers and sisters in India in your prayers and give if you are able. More than 200,000 lives have been lost to the pandemic in India. Across the country, hospitals are overrun and oxygen supplies are falling short of demand.
Download the prayer and find out more below.
We wish you all a restful and pleasant Bank Holiday when it arrives, assuring you of our continued prayers and good wishes.
The Coronavirus Task Group
(Bishop Christopher, the Very Revd Andrew Nunn, the Venerable Alastair Cutting, Ruth Martin and Sophia Jones)