Re-opening our church buildings

‘slowly, steadily and safely’ (Bishop of Norwich)

Yesterday (24th June) the HON churchwardens and the ministry team met with Archdeacon Ian (AD Lynn) to discuss together our plans for the re-opening of church buildings: now to include public worship, including weddings, with a maximum of 30 people (from 4th July), as well as during the week for individual prayer.

We await further guidance on this from Government and the Church of England but are moving ahead with planning. 

First steps:

  • St Peter’s Guestwick will be open from Sunday 28th June for individual prayer. The Church will then be open on Wednesdays (9am-4pm) and Sundays (10am-4pm). As the church building is already Wi-Fi enabled (enabling webcasting), it may be the first building we can open for a Sunday act of public worship.
  • Wood Norton (All Saints) and Worthing (St Margaret): the churchwardens already had advanced plans in place to re-open for individual prayer – temporarily halted by myself as we sought clarity about ‘one-way flows’ and managing social distancing. These concerns have now been largely allayed and it will be for their PCCs to propose a way forward for re-opening.
  • We hope to re-open Elmham St Mary’s, Foulsham Holy Innocents and Stibbard All Saints, as soon as their building/restoration works are complete (end August/beginning of September).
  • We hope to re-open Bawdeswell All Saints as soon as possible, but it is a single-aisle church with only one door, so this needs careful consideration.
  • For the time-being, church buildings that are in the care of the Diocese of Norwich Churches Trust (Bintree and Themelthorpe) cannot be opened. We are reviewing arrangements for visitors to Foxley, Guist and Twyford (keyholder access). 

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