When shall we be able to open our churches?

It seems that the discussion over the opening of Church buildings is moving on.  The clergy have received an email from the Bishop of Salisbury, whilst recognising that things may not move that quickly, requesting that we establish a plan for each of our churches, as we prepare for them to be unlocked and services recommence.  I have asked the churchwardens to give this some thought for their particular church building, as we are all aware that the move back to using our churches again will be significantly easier in some buildings than others.


In the meantime, the situation continues as it has been since the last week of March, and the gradual adjustment to social distancing becomes almost second nature.  The unknown remains the factor that keeps us from placing dates and plans in place with any certainty, but provisionally, I am hopeful that we may begin the process of unlocking churches and worshipping God in them, albeit perhaps with small numbers and those spaced out, within a few weeks from now.  I am cautiously optimistic, though a spike in the number of infections and an increased R number, may rapidly return us to a less favourable outlook.  The Church would certainly not wish to see itself as potentially making matters worse by opening prematurely.  We await further guidance, but at the same time, we are giving some serious thought as to how we shall manage.

John Mann