C of E suspends public worship

In the light of the Church of England's announcement today, the Cathedral is now closed for public worship. In practice, this means:

* Because we are closed for public worship, for the moment, you cannot attend our normal weekday and Sunday services.

* Members of Chapter will continue to maintain the daily rhythm of prayer in the Cathedral during the closure. If you would like us to pray for you at our daily Eucharist, do let us know.     

* You are welcome to drop into the Cathedral for private prayer during the day until 5.30pm. We would ask you to observe social distancing as advised by the Government to help prevent the spread of the virus.

* We are working on ways of sharing worship virtually. There are useful resources for prayer and reflection in these exceptional times on the Church of England website.


A letter from the Bishop of Oxford and the Dean of Christ Church

Dear Friends

We have taken the very painful decision to postpone our public worship in the Cathedral for the coming days and weeks. We know that this is the time when gathering together for worship would normally be our most natural instinct - to pray for those in need, and for one another, and for our wider community. However, this is an unprecedented time in our country and the wider world.

The Cathedral will be open for private prayer, and we will ensure that arrangements for pastoral care in the community for our most needy and vulnerable will evolve over the next few days.  

This is a particularly painful moment to have to make this decision, as churches across the world prepare to celebrate Mothering Sunday and remember the spiritual and pastoral nurture that our churches provide. However, I hope we will use this time to pray for all the people across the Diocese, wherever we find ourselves worshipping in the days ahead. 

In all of this uncertainty, we invite you to remember that one of the most important words we encounter in the scriptures is surprisingly ordinary: “with”. God is with us. God is with us and meets us where we are. God chose to be amongst us, and God never leaves us. Whatever we face, God is with us - in the darkness and the light, and in times of great need and abundant plenty. Our prayers for the work of this Cathedral, Diocese and all the peoples and communities we seek to serve will continue - to express the love of God being with us all at this time. 

May God be with you. We will continue to hold you all in our love and prayers. Please continue to pray for, serve and love those around you.

And may the peace of the Lord be with you. Always.

Yours in Christ, 

Dean Martyn and Bishop Steven

17 March 2020