In celebration of Birmingham’s two cathedrals reopening to the public Ecumenical Prayers were held this morning (Monday).
Archbishop Bernard Longley, head of the Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham, and The Right Reverend Bishop David Urquhart, The Bishop of Birmingham, prayed together in St Chad’s Cathedral then walked to Birmingham Cathedral (St Philips) to pray (observing social distancing!)
They were supported by Mgr Tim Menezes, Dean of St Chad’s, and The Very Reverend Matt Thompson, The Dean of Birmingham.
St Chad’s Cathedral reopened for individual prayer last month, and public worship on Saturday 4 July, having undergone a detailed risk assessment.
Birmingham Cathedral reopened for private prayer today (Mon) and will be holding two short Eucharist services on Sundays.
Archbishop Bernard said: “There is a real sense of homecoming at being able to pray with Bishop David at both St Chad’s and St Philip’s Cathedral.
“It was very poignant to pray together for our city and to remember all those whose lives have been so changed by the coronavirus pandemic over the last nearly four months.
“I am grateful for the witness and work of our two cathedral communities in the heart of Birmingham.”
Dean Matt said: “I am delighted to announce that following the recent change in government guidance, Chapter has given its approval for the resumption of public worship from Sunday 12 July.
“There will be two services of Holy Communion at 9am and 11am. It is our intention to run two services each week with the exception of Sunday 26 July when there will be one service at 11am.
“This will not be ‘church as we know and love it’ – the national guidelines now in force will not yet permit the return of singing and our services will have to be shorter than usual in order to comply and to keep everyone as safe as possible. The need to book a ticket in advance for worship will no doubt seem unfamiliar, even rather alien.
“We are also very mindful of many of our Cathedral Community members who will not be able to return to worship with us in the building at this stage.
“For this reason, we will be continuing as much of our online provision as possible during July and August.
“We look forward to welcoming you all back to Birmingham Cathedral – those able to return in these coming weeks and those whose return will be later in the year.”