Re-Opening Our Churches.
The reopening of our churches when it comes will be a welcome but also challenging moment in the life of our worshipping communities for it has to be done in a way that makes church buildings safe to use while we learn to live with the threat of a virus for which at the moment there is no vaccine.
t is unlikely that all parish churches will open at the same time and when churches do open it will at first be for a limited period during the day for people to visit and say a private prayer . The Diocese has to establish from the beginning that procedures carried out by a parish are able to make the building safe to enter and that all necessary cleaning can be carried out and maintained.
Each parish church will have to be inspected by the Diocese before it can open and it must be able to show that it has the necessary number of volunteers available to maintain the safety standards required. Further inspections will be carried out in the weeks ahead and if a church is unable to maintain standards it will have to close again until such time that it is able to comply with the required safety procedures.
There may be a first wave of churches able to open across the diocese followed by other church openings later as parishes show that the safety procedures necessary are met. At this moment the Diocese is drawing up plans to purchase in bulk the necessary equipment required and then distribute to the parishes the needed materials. Each parish will be responsible for the cost of the material it receives in order to be able to be equipped and meet the health and safety standards required. We will need to be able to recruit and train willing volunteers to help steward the visits to our church buildings and assist in the cleaning up afterwards. It may mean that only one or two of the local churches open first and the preparations necessary may also require cross parish cooperation. If communities willing to work together still cannot recruit the necessary volunteers then it is unlikely that any of our local churches will be able to open.
So I ask of you to consider if you would be able to assist our local parish communities in this way and if you can please let me know. Obviously the correct equipment needs to be made available along with the involvement in planning out how and at what times our churches can be open for visits as well as training for cleaning procedures when the buildings close after visiting times. If you are able to consider becoming a volunteer
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