No public services in the Cathedral for the time being

Tuesday 12 January

In an email to the Cathedral community, the Dean announces that public worship will stop for the time being, although the Cathedral remains open for a couple of hours each day for private prayer.

Dear Friends

As we are all aware, we are now facing the most challenging time in the pandemic. The new more virulent strain of the virus is infecting many more people and all our hospitals are at, or nearing, capacity. Repeated warnings, both from health care professionals and from the government, have urged us to act as if we have the virus, stay at home and only to venture out when absolutely necessary.

There is an exemption for private prayer and corporate worship, and it was a joy to be able to celebrate together in the Cathedral last Sunday. However, even since then, the gravity of the situation has become clearer and after much prayer and heart-searching we have decided, along with most other cathedrals, that once again we need to close for worship.

I realise that this will be a disappointment for some and disheartening to many – and indeed we have endeavoured throughout to ensure that the Cathedral is a safe place to be. Nevertheless, it is vital that we play our part in combatting the spread of the virus and this is a way to do that, both practically and in the example of self-discipline we set to others within our community.

On the positive side, the programme of vaccination is beginning to be rolled out and offering protection to the most vulnerable; this offers us the hope that the current closure has an endpoint.

At the same time, we have decided that we CAN continue to keep the Cathedral open for private prayer for a limited time (12noon – 2pm) each day, for those who have regularly taken advantage of this opportunity, and of course the grounds of the Cathedral, open daily, offer a safe space for recreation, exercise, and reflection.

We shall also continue to live-stream Sunday morning services and offer our other online worship, while morning prayer via Zoom continues. As I have said before, we realise how stressful the current circumstances are and if there is anything we can do to support you or your family at this time please do let us know.

These are challenging times but we do believe that better days lie ahead and meanwhile, even if the Cathedral is closed, God is not deaf to our prayers – he remains close to us in all we experience and we can place our trust in his promises.

May God bless you 

The Very Revd Chris Dalliston
Dean of Peterborough

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