The Government had said that we could open for private prayer but not for tourism, and it issued the necessary guidance after a bit of a delay, so we had the following opportunities for private prayer last week, and will continue to offer them next week as well (with our sincere thanks to those who have made this possible by stewarding these opening times):
Sundays – 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm – St Gabriel’s, Stanbury
Mondays – 6.00 pm to 8.00 pm – St Michael’s, Haworth
Wednesdays – 9.00 am to 11.00 am – St James’, Cross Roads
Fridays – 11.00 am to 1.00 pm – St Michael’s, Haworth
The Government has now said we can prepare to open for public worship, and that museums can also prepare to open. However, the phraseology was ambiguous about how many might attend public worship, there was no indication whether we will be able to open for tourists as if we were a museum, and the necessary guidance had simply not been published by the end of the week, so we are a bit in the dark.
Things may not turn out to be as straight forward as people might think. The public worship experience (with social distancing, no singing, and many regulars possibly feeling it is better to stay away from social gatherings at the moment) might feel quite different. The likely requirements for infection control means it is also very unlikely that we could simply leave St Michael’s open all day without the sort of hosting supervision which would be a very heavy demand on a village congregation.