Coronavirus: Peterborough Cathedral suspends public worship, Showcase Cinema closes
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A cathedral spokeswoman said this afternoon: “In line with all Church of England places of worship the cathedral is, with deep regret, suspending public worship with immediate effect.
“This means that the daily morning and evening services, as well as all Sunday services, will be said by the cathedral clergy on duty only without direct participation by the public. Plans are being put in place to live stream some services over the Easter period, so that people can take part from home.
“The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and other church leaders, have called for Mothering Sunday, March 22, to be a day of prayer and action. To this end the choristers are recording some hymns which will be available online, via the cathedral website, for sharing with grandparents and anyone who is feeling isolated at home.
“The lay clerks (adult singers) hope to record some anthems in the next day or so, which can be incorporated into online Easter services materials. The choir is otherwise stood down, with the children are being encouraged to continue with their singing practice at home.
“The cathedral will remain open to visitors who wish to come for private prayer or to listen to a service via the speaker system. Those entering the cathedral will be asked to use hand sanitiser on arrival and to keep an appropriate distance from one another.
“The focus will be on ensuring the cathedral remains open during the crisis. Given that many volunteers may be required to withdraw from unnecessary public contact, the cathedral visitor centre and shop will be closed for the time being.”
The Very Revd Chris Dalliston, Dean of Peterborough, said: “These are very testing times for all of us, but the message from the cathedral is clear. Worship and prayer will continue here day by day as they have done for centuries, through good times and bad.
“The doors remain open and you are welcome to come here quietly to pray. Abide by Government advice but stay connected – you can keep up with any live streaming of services, or any blog posts, through our social media and website.
“Also, keep looking out for those who may be in need, and help where you can do so safely. Keep supporting charities like the food bank and the Light Project, who need us now more than ever.
“Above all we need to stand together in solidarity and prayer, recalling God’s steadfast love for all his people. As the words on the great crucifix in the cathedral remind us, ‘the cross stands firm whilst the world is turning’.”
Any public events at the cathedral between now and the end of May have been postponed.
Meanwhile, the Showcase in Fengate will close from tomorrow.
The cinema chain said: “All tickets purchased in advance for future shows can be refunded by contacting the cinema directly.”