Church opening

Canon Beverley Hollins, Rural Dean of Greater Northampton writes

"You will have seen the PM's announcement that churches will open for private prayer from June 15th. It would have been preferable if he had said churches may open. It's only practical where it is possible to fully clean the church frequently, or have supervision and cleaning as you go. For most churches this simply isn't an option.

In Northampton the rate of infection is still quite high, not improving as some parts of the country are, and so it's no safer to consider opening now than it was a month ago. While I remain a strong advocate of churches being open for prayer, I'm an even stronger advocate of protecting people from coronavirus. God isn't bounded by church buildings. You can pray anywhere and he'll be there with you. However lovely churches are, they are not worth the risk at the moment in order to do something that you can do just as well elsewhere. Living Brook churches will open for prayer only when it is safe locally and possible to clean them normally.

Lockdown has been a great reminder to many that prayer is just as powerful at home or in the street or the countryside. Don't lose that, don't imagine that God needs a building to meet you! And if he doesn't need a building to meet you, then you don't need a building to meet him!"

 

Rev Byung Kim, Rector of St Peter & St Paul Abington adds

"Given that Abington has a high proportion of elderly people and that the volunteers who clean the church are all in the vulnerable category, it would be too risky to rush back to the building. I know this might be an unpopular decision but right now our priority and our duty and responsibility is to protect our people.

I envisage that there will be some confusion and a lot of mixed responses over the next few weeks. There will be different approaches from one church to another. We will carefully observe that and also see what guidelines will come from the Diocese and the national church.

The local infection rate is still too high at the moment. Let's focus on worshiping and praying and serving as we have been doing so in this pandemic. Our church building will open for prayer only when it is safe locally and possible to clean them normally.

Please pray for the church, for wisdom, patience and courage."