Last weekend, the cathedral took the difficult decision of closing the building for public worship in the light of rising Covid cases in Cornwall. Many other cathedrals throughout the country have found themselves making the same decision. We were aware that government regulations permitted people to leave home to attend an act of worship in a place of worship, but there was no reason other than this for people to leave home to attend those places of worship. However, we did take the conscious decision last weekend to keep the cathedral open for pastoral reasons for a limited period of time each day, with the proviso that this would be constantly reviewed.
It is now clear that the situation in Cornwall is not abating, and the requirement for people to stay at home is even more pressing than it was last week. Therefore, with the health and safety of people more in mind than any other consideration, we have now decided to close the cathedral completely for the time being. We know that this is a significant symbolic step; having the cathedral available with an open door, if only for two hours a day, was saying something about the presence of the cathedral in the life of our wider community. But we have to place this in the context of the severe circumstances in which we find ourselves, and even the very slight possibility of allowing infection to spread by coming into the cathedral simply had to be addressed. Hence our decision to close. We will continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis, and it is our firm intention to open the doors again once circumstances permit.
In the meantime, do access our online services, and please refer to our website and social media outlets for more information. A closed building does not mean a closed community, and we will continue to pray for you all, particular those on the front line, as we negotiate the next difficult few weeks. We hope and pray that this period of closure will be for the shortest possible time, but we do think it is a necessary step to contain the rate of contagion as much as possible.
With every blessing.
Roger Bush, Dean of Truro. 13 January 2021.