Are Churches really opening for prayer?
It was announced (without prior warning) in the late night news on Saturday 6th June, that Churches would be allowed to open for Private Prayer from Monday 15th June. and further guidance from the government will follow during the week. At the moment, our beautiful St Leonard’s Church remains closed under instructions given by the government, the Church of England and the Diocese of Leicester.
Assuming that the govermnent guidance is received by Wednesday/Thursday, the bishops will then need to issue Church and Diocesan guidance for local clergy and churchwardens to act upon. This will no doubt include risk assessments and appropriate measures for cleaning the Church and supervision of visitors.
Many of our regular congregation, because they’re good at living, fall into the more elderly category and several have underlying health conditions which require them to continue shielding for the time being. We are going to be short of the necessary volunteers required. It is worth bearing in mind that our Church is not normally open for private prayer during the week anyway. Why would we do so now, when the risk of covid19 still remains? Far better to find a quiet space in your own home or garden and establish a place for private prayer there than risk entering our Church building where there is the possiblity of cross contamination.
We are certainly looking forward to the time when the Church can be open for public worship, for weddings and funerals, but that time is not yet. Until that time, we will continue to meet together virtually and individually for prayer and worship. We will continue to pray for our communities in which we live and work. We will continue to read and study scripture online together and alone. We will continue to be the people of God loving and serving our neighbour. We will continue to be Church.
For the time being our building may remain closed, but the Church is still at work. God bless.