The Archdiocese of Cardiff welcomes with great joy the latest relaxation of coronavirus restrictions in Wales that allow for the gradual reintroduction of public worship into Welsh life.
In the latest round of reviews the Welsh Government announced:
“From Monday 13 July 2020, places of worship will be able to open subject to the following guidance about coronavirus-safe ways to operate….
Faith Leaders can begin to gradually resume services when they are ready to do so safely”.
The Catholic Bishops of Wales have been working closely with the Welsh Government in recent weeks to prepare for the gradual re-opening of our churches. The Diocese has been supporting our parishes through the procurement of adequate PPE, signage etc. to enable re-opening and continues to provide ongoing Health & Safety support to secure the necessary certification of our churches.
Our churches began to re-open for private prayer two weeks ago and this announcement is a welcome next step towards the ‘new normal’ for the Church. There continues to be a tremendous amount of work required to re-open our churches and not all churches will be able to re-open for public worship or private at this time. One of the greatest challenges our parishes face is securing sufficient volunteers to adequately steward and thoroughly clean our churches with each opening period. For some, the size of the church may make it untenable to open with current social distancing requirements. Your support and patience are requested to re-open our churches safely for everyone. There is much work needed to restore public worship into our churches making the date of Monday 13th July 2020 a highly unlikely date for the majority of our churches.
Our mottos as we re-opened for private prayer was “Pray Safe, Stay Safe”; that motto still holds as we prepare to resume public worship. Our brothers and sisters in England resumed public worship last weekend and the lessons they have learned will feed into our efforts in the coming weeks. Safety must continue to be our priority to contain and lessen the spread of the coronavirus. The quicker the virus dissipates, the sooner we can say that ‘normal service is resumed’.
In his message to the clergy of the Dioceses of Cardiff and Menevia, Archbishop George Stack pledges the support of the respective Dioceses to secure the necessary certification declaring our worship plans as “Covid Safe” enabling us to gather once again in the House of the Lord.
Please continue to check back with the Diocesan website to stay up to date on our plans for restoring public worship in our churches.