The following churches in our Partnership will be the first to open, when possible, for limited hours for private prayer:
St. Godric's, Durham
Ss. Joseph, Patrick & Cuthbert, Coxhoe
St. Joseph's, Ushaw Moor
The hours of opening for each church will be announced. Before reopening, a risk assessment and a deep clean will be carried out for each church, and churches will be cleaned after each day of opening. The number of people allowed to enter the church will be restricted, to comply with social distancing rules. Volunteers are needed to clean the church, and to act as stewards to ensure social distancing while the church is open.
The Diocesan Handbook for the Reopening of Churches stipulates that: 'Stewards and cleaners must not be drawn from the clinically extremely vulnerable group who are shielding. Those in the clinically vulnerable group, including people aged 70 or over, could be at a higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. The clinically vulnerable group are advised to stay at home as much as possible and, if they do go out, take particular care to minimise contact with others outside their household or support bubble. Those from this group who still wish to volunteer will be asked to confirm that they have read and understood the Diocesan Handbook for Re-Opening of Churches and HM Government Guidance on Staying alert and safe (social distancing.)' If, having considered this information, you wish to volunteer to assist with the reopening of churches, you can do so in any of the churches of our Partnership which are opening.
To volunteer, please contact the parish secretary by email – firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: 07391 529 827.
Other churches re-opening in the Diocese
Below is an extract from a note sent to clergy by the Bishop: “I am pleased to announce the opening of the following churches in the near future: Bedlington St. Bede North Gosforth The Sacred Heart Newcastle St. Teresa of the Infant Jesus Newcastle St. Bede South Shields St. Bede Gateshead Immaculate Heart of Mary Durham Our Lady of Mercy and St Godric Ushaw Moor St. Joseph Newton Aycliffe St. Mary Darlington St. Augustine I would again like to thank the Parish Priests and their volunteers for facilitating these openings and I hope more will follow soon. Thank you for your cooperation in what is a difficult and lengthy process in ensuring the safety of our clergy and people as we begin to emerge from the lockdown.”