Following the announcement on Monday 23rd March by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Chichester Cathedral (alongside all Church of England churches) has closed until further notice. This is to support the national effort to limit the transmission of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
All Cathedral events within the immediate future have either been cancelled or postponed, including our Festival of Flowers.
In order to continue in it's duty, the Cathedral has developed a number of new resources. We encourage you to visit our website and to sign-up to receive our e-newsletters to see the many resources we are developing for worship, learning and pilgrimage (see comprehensive list below).
Dean of Chichester, The Very Reverend Stephen Waine has issued the following statement:
“The Cathedral’s witness to the love of God for his people has endured for 900 years, and today, despite being closed, Chichester Cathedral remains a strong symbol of God’s presence alongside us.
In these unprecedented times, we will continue to offer prayer individually away from the Cathedral. Reiterating the message released by Archbishops and Bishops on Monday (23rd March 2020), all churches, including Chichester Cathedral, will ‘continue to pray, to love, to care for the vulnerable’. To make your own request for prayer click here or something similar.
We urge you to stay at home, and know that God is with you there."
Staff & Volunteers
Many of our staff team simply cannot fulfil their roles at this time, which means that they will effectively be put on stand-by. Chichester Cathedral will be utilising the Government’s Job Retention Scheme to help support salaries for these staff, and will continue to keep the situation under review.
In response to the Government’s guidance, and in order to keep our committed volunteer team safe, we have stood down all volunteers and encourage them to remain at home. We continue to remain in touch with our volunteers through emails and e-newsletters, and phone calls too. If you are volunteer at Chichester Cathedral and would like to talk to someone but are yet to hear from us, we encourage you to reach out to our Volunteers Co-ordinator Carolyn Atkinson (CLICK HERE).
For Holy Week 2020 the Cathedral is working with the Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner to provide a schedule of live services throughout the week. CLICK HERE for more information;
After Holy Week, Sunday Eucharist will be live-streamed from the home of a member of the Cathedral Clergy, 10.00am every Sunday. A recording will be uploaded to the website soon afterwards for those who can’t catch it live;
Resources for worship are being been made available via the Cathedral's website, including past sermons, suggested reading and ‘Spiritual Communion’;
A member of the Clergy will release a weekly video entitled ‘Reflections’, filmed from their home. They will share their thoughts, ideas or readings;
Prayers can now be submitted to the Cathedral Clergy by direct message on social media or, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The congregation of Chichester Cathedral are being contacted regularly by members of the clergy team, by phone and weekly e-newsletter. The latter includes ‘Congregation Chatter’, a section where the congregation can share updates, news, recipes and ideas with one another.
Prior to breaking up from school, the Cathedral Choristers from The Prebendal School recorded a performance of their favourite Hymn led by Head Organist Charles Harrison. The recording formed part of St. Paul’s Cathedral’s national #HymnFlashMob – providing music and joy for those in isolation (CLICK HERE);
Assistant Organist Tim Ravalde will be sharing weekly recordings of performances from his home.
Learning & Engagement
The Cathedral’s YASA group (Young Ambassadors for Social Action) are making postcards as acts of kindness to local and wider communities such as individuals in care homes, members of the Cathedral congregation and others feeling isolated;
Resources are being developed by the Learning & Engagement team for families and young people, to be used at home;
Book at Breakfast, the Cathedral’s regular reading group lead by the Chancellor, Dr. Dan Inman, will be moved online, allowing individuals to share and celebrate literature despite being in isolation;
New resources for pilgrimage, including drone footage of the Cathedral, will be released to enable audiences from home to join ‘virtual pilgrimages’ - and experience the glory of the Cathedral.
A new schedule of social media content will be provided for audiences on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:
- #TakeoverTuesdays. A member of the Cathedral Clergy and Staff takeover social media accounts to share more about their role, and how they are responding to isolation/revised conditions of working;
- #ThrowbackThursdays. The Cathedral has partnered with Judge & Sampson to share weekly archival photos of the Cathedral and the grounds (dating 1900-1970s);
- #SupportSaturday. The Cathedral will be sharing the work of it’s amazing partners, as well as local charities that are under increasing pressure. This includes: UKHarvest, Chichester District Foodbank and Stonepillow.
Weekly E-Newsletter are circulated to general audiences, volunteers and members of the congregation. This includes updates from the Cathedral, as well as direction to trustworthy and reliable advice relating to COVID-19. You can sign-up to these by completing the form at the bottom of the Cathedral homepage;
The Chichester Peregrines have returned and the live camera link is now available for people to watch from their homes;
The Cathedral’s website has been updated to reflect many of the new information and resources the public will need, relating to worship, learning and music.