Cathedral re-opens for private prayer

Christ Church Cathedral will be open again for private prayer from Monday 15 June for the first time in three months.

Places of worship were closed in March as part of the lockdown to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. However, it was recently announced that they can reopen next week as long as they can do so safely. Cathedral staff have worked closely with colleagues from across the joint foundation of Christ Church to ensure that all appropriate measures are taken to keep visitors and staff safe.

Initially, the Cathedral will be open for two hours a day from 4pm to 6pm. Visitors will be invited to enter via Meadow Gate, where staff will direct them to the Cathedral via a well-signed one-way system.

Only a limited number of people will be allowed in to the building at a time to ensure safe social distancing, and visitors will be asked to sanitise their hands on both entering and leaving.

The easing of lockdown means that the Christ Church Shop in the Meadow will also re-open on 15 June. However, the rest of the College remains closed to tourists until such time as Government guidance changes.

The Dean, the Very Revd Professor Martyn Percy, said: ‘As the mother church of the Diocese of Oxford we are looking forward to opening again for private prayer. This will be a singularly powerful sign of hope many, and of the enduring resilience of our Christian faith, life and witness. Our spiritual and scared space stands as a symbolic reminder of God’s gracious love and endless hospitality.

‘In the coming, days people will be most welcome to come to the Cathedral to pray. However, all visitors will need to remember that there will be no access to the rest of the site from the Cathedral.’

Arrangements will be reviewed regularly to ensure that those who wish to pray in their Cathedral can do so in a safe and responsible way.