Following the government’s announcement last weekend of a second national lockdown, Exeter Cathedral has temporarily suspended group worship services and sightseeing visits.
The move follows the government’s release of information on Saturday about national restrictions on places of worship, from 5 November until 2 December, due to a resurgence of the coronavirus infection rate.
However, as The Very Revd Jonathan Greener, Dean of Exeter, explains, the Cathedral remains equipped to serve the people of Devon despite the restrictions:
“We are incredibly sad that we will, once again, be unable to gather together physically, as congregations for the next month, and we are also disappointed to have to close our doors to the many visitors who come to experience the breathtaking beauty of this incredible building.
“However the last lockdown taught us a huge amount, and because of that experience we are now much better equipped to serve the people of Devon, despite the restrictions.”
Following on from its participation in a nationwide ‘Light of Hope’ art installation last weekend, Exeter Cathedral is determined to remain a beacon of hope for the community.
The Revd Canon Chris Palmer, Canon Chancellor at Exeter Cathedral, points to a number of ways in which the Cathedral will continue to support the community:
“Our mission as a cathedral is to be a beacon hope – to be here for the people of Devon — especially in a time of such great need.”
“Under the latest government restrictions, individuals will still be allowed to come here for private prayer or reflection, and we are blessed with an enormous, Covid-secure space, specifically designed to inspire such reflection.”
“We will also continue to live-stream our main services on the Exeter Cathedral Facebook page, so that anyone with internet access can join us. And we will be focusing on supporting people through pastoral care and community groups, via telephone and Zoom.”
Restrictions at the Cathedral are currently expected to last until Wednesday 2 December, when it is hoped normal service can resume. Full details of online support, live streamed services and resources are available on the Exeter Cathedral website.