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Plans are now emerging for the re-opening of the Abbey for services, prayer and reflection, hospitality, general visiting, and events. In our planning we are being careful to adhere to national legislation and to the importance of maintaining everyone’s safety. We also need to contend with the ongoing roof works which will continue to affect the inside of the Abbey until Good Friday. However, we also recognise the huge spiritual and social importance of in-person worship and so the following sets out the Abbey’s roadmap for re-opening.
Palm Sunday 28th March
The first in-person service in the Abbey will take place at 6.30pm on Palm Sunday and will be a service of reflections, music, and prayers for Holy Week.
Monday 29th – Thursday 1st April
On each of these evenings there will be a Eucharist in the Abbey at 7pm. The Abbey will be open for private prayer from 6pm.
Good Friday 2nd April
The Abbey will be open for private prayer from 12 noon and there will be a service of “Gathering around the Cross” at 2pm.
Easter Sunday 4th April
There will be an Easter Day Parish Eucharist at 10am. The Abbey will remain open for private prayer and reflection until 3pm. There will be an Easter Refresh at 6.30pm
Easter Monday 5th April and every day until 17th May
The Abbey will be open for private prayer and reflection from 11am – 3pm (subject to the removal of scaffolding which may affect opening on some days).
Tuesday 6th April and then each Tuesday
There will be a Eucharist at 12 noon
Sunday 11th April and then each Sunday
Parish Eucharist will be at 10am and Evening service (Evensong. Refresh or Revive) will be at 6.30pm.
Monday 12th April
Morning Prayer will resume in the Abbey at 9am. Evening Prayer will resume in the Abbey at 5pm. The Refectory Café will open with outside seating only and the Abbey Shop will re-open.
Wednesday 14th April
Tots’ Praise resumes at 9.30am
Monday 17th May
The Abbey will open for general visiting from 1oam to 5pm each day. The Refectory Café will be fully open.
Monday June 21st
By this date the government’s current roadmap envisages that most, if not all, Covid related restrictions will be lifted. Well in advance of this date we will communicate about all Abbey services, activities and events.
Covid protocols, social distancing, Choirs and Children’s worship
When we return to the Abbey we will be re-instating all our Covid secure measures which will include: the requirement to wear a mask, social distancing, track and trace, extra hygiene measures, no congregational singing etc.
At present it is not known when Choirs will again be allowed to sing in Church. Because of this the above roadmap does not mention the resumption of Wednesday and Thursday Evensong. However, as soon as choirs are permitted, we will look to resume these services. Likewise, choirs will return to Sunday services as soon as legislation permits.
We hope to resume Messy Church as soon as possible and more information about this will follow soon.
In addition to the re-opening of the Abbey, worship via Zoom will continue, albeit at different times from the current pattern.
The above roadmap is not exhaustive and does not cover every aspect of Abbey life but we hope it gives a clear direction of travel. As the ending of Covid measures emerge, we will review the ongoing pattern of services and events and keep everyone informed.
Rector and Churchwardens
10th March 2021