Reopening of Places of Worship

Home » News » Reopening of Places of Worship
Iona Healling

In these liminal times between pre and post pandemic we find ourselves in a state of flux. We have been led to believe that the peak of the coronavirus has passed and yet the number of cases is rising especially in the north of the country and localised lockdowns are being imposed. We have been told that churches can open from this coming weekend (4th July, 2020). What does this mean for the churches in the Kennet and Test Valley Circuit?

The Government announced that Places of Worship can open in England from 4th July with certain restrictions. However, the decision to re-open a church needs serious consideration and a thorough understanding of what is required in terms of planning and health and safety requirements. There is no compulsion to re-open if Managing Trustees do not feel it can be done safely, or it is too soon. As the Methodist Church's guidance states:

  • It needs to be well planned, both before the opening and kept under review once the building is in use.
  • Do not assume that you can immediately do things 'as you used to do' and accept that saying 'no', 'not yet' or 'not like this' can be positive decisions.

Before we consider the practical aspects of reopening our church buildings, it is very important that we take time to reflect:

"Church" can be wherever we gather or scatter, conscious of our calling as disciples of Jesus. We already knew this, but the lockdown has brought it into sharp focus. We are now permitted to open our buildings once more. A desire to "return to normal" is natural, but may not be practically possible or missionally necessary at this time. Our task in this moment is to consider what use of our buildings and what pattern of worship will best serve the discipleship of our people and the needs of our local community.

The Circuit Leadership Team have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that we are aware of, and are acting on, advice from the Government and the Methodist Church. The property stewards at each church have already been sent comprehensive details of the steps to be undertaken prior to premises being ready for opening. Alongside this, those who have previously led worship and preached on the Circuit Plan have been approached to establish what resources will be available for the next Plan.

Ministers and pastoral visitors will be consulting with individual congregations to estimate numbers of people likely to return to Sunday morning worship, based on restrictions around health and social distancing. This will have a bearing on the number of services that will be needed on the plan.

In these continually changing times, may we remember that, whilst our buildings may be closed, God still hears us when we pray!

popular recent storiesAlso in the news

Methodist Conference 2021
Webteam: Wed 30 Jun 6:21pm

Following prayerful consideration by the whole Church, the Methodist Conference has voted to confirm provisional resolutions on the principles or qualities of good relating, understanding of cohabitation and https://www.methodist.org...

Tolpuddle
Webteam: Mon 14 Jun 3:43pm

The Tolpuddle Martyrs — how does their story still speak today?The next talk in the District's Wes Talks online talks series is on June 21. It's called "The Tolpuddle Martyrs — how does their story still speak today?"The panel will feature Simon Topping (minister in the Gloucestershire Circuit) and Steph Jenner ( former minister of Tolpuddle Methodist...

Festival At Home
Webteam: Tue 18 May 2:15pm

Festival at Home 2021 is taking place from 29 May to 31 May. It will be a digital event due to the ongoing event restrictions.Around the CampfireTo gather around a campfire is an act of community — we gather as a people at a time and in a place, coming from our different locations to join with one...

© 2015 - 2021 Kennet and Test Valley

To proclaim and reflect the love of God