Watch Edinburgh places of worship reopen for private prayer as lockdown eases

A cathedral and a memorial chapel at a church in Edinburgh are to reopen for private prayers as lockdown restrictions have been further eased.

A cathedral and a memorial chapel at a church in Edinburgh are to reopen for private prayers as lockdown restrictions have been further eased.

St Cuthbert's Church, in Lothian Road, will start allowing three people to be praying at once with standalone chairs set up two metres apart to assist social distancing amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

The Church of Scotland establishment is to reopen on certain days for two hours as the country has progressed to phase two of exiting lockdown.

St Cuthbert's Church will allow three people to be praying at once with standalone chairs set up two metres apart to assist social distancing amid the coronavirus outbreak
St Cuthbert's Church will allow three people to be praying at once with standalone chairs set up two metres apart to assist social distancing amid the coronavirus outbreak

Rev Peter Sutton, the church's minister, said: "St Cuthbert's has been a house of prayer for 1,400 years.

"The memorial chapel has always been a place of private prayer and reflection which we always use at this time of year for visitors.

"We have created a space for private prayer with provision for three people to pray between 12pm and 2pm, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday."

He added: "The congregation is really pleased that other people will be able to drop in and experience the peacefulness of the beautiful chapel imminently.

"If it is a success and there is evidence of need, we could potentially extend the hours."

St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral is also reopening its doors on Wednesday June 24 at 10.30am.

With changes in government guidelines surrounding Covid-19, the Cathedral will be open for individual prayer every day (except Saturdays) between 10.30am and 1.30pm.

MSP Ruth Davidson will attend the reopening of the iconic building on the day.

The Rt Rev’d Dr John Armes, Bishop of Edinburgh, said: “I am delighted that St Mary’s Cathedral is to reopen for private prayer on Wednesday.

“This is not only good news for the many people who regularly drop-in to pray but it is also a symbolic moment for the church at large as we emerge from lockdown.

“From the beginning of the emergency we have cooperated with the Scottish Government, encouraging people to stay at home and to save lives and as we reopen we shall continue to follow government advice and do all we can to resist the spread of Covid-19.

“Nevertheless, the closure of church buildings has been a real deprivation. This crisis has challenged us in all sorts of ways and has threatened the mental well-being of many.

“Until lockdown, our Cathedral was open daily as a safe space, a place of peace and refreshment and I believe it is of huge benefit that this ‘sanctuary’ will once more be available to the general public.

“I am very grateful to the Provost, John Conway, and his team for enabling us to say once again, ‘All are welcome in this place!”

The Cathedral’s services of worship will continue to be online. Details can be found at www.cathedral.net

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.