Church of England Diocese of Canterbury High Downs

Opening Church Doors

1 Jul 2020, 10 a.m.

Thankfully many of our buildings are now beginning to reopen, firstly for individual prayer and funerals, and then from 4th July for weddings and for regular gathered worship. This reopening will be a source of great comfort and joy to many people, including some who were not actively part of a worshipping community prior to lockdown.

Opening the Doors is the name of a simple set of resources that churches can take and make their own as and when it is appropriate for them to do so. They include:

Posters and invitations, digital and hard copy, that churches can use to invite the parish to worship

Liturgical resources, provided by the Liturgical Commission, as well as some others produced by Fresh Expressions practitioners as their contribution

Webinars from the Digital and Evangelism and Discipleship teams

In due course, resources and guidance to help churches prepare for Advent and Christmas

The prayer of those who have been involved in producing Opening the Doors is that every church will be helped to welcome and engage the many who have engaged with worship online as well as offering care to those longer-standing members of our congregations.

Links to the resources can be found at the bottom of this page.

Read a short blog about Opening the Doors

The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York Designate together in December 2019

‘Opening the Doors’ is an encouragement to all our churches to be prepared and enthused to invite and include all the people of our communities into our buildings, and I welcome it most warmly.

Archbishop Justin Welby

While the doors of our buildings have had to be closed, the Church has of course been open, serving our communities in all sorts of wonderful and creative ways - from running foodbanks and caring for isolated and vulnerable people, to praying for the needs of the parish and livestreaming worship. At some point, when it is safe to do so, the doors of our buildings will open again, and when that time comes, we will continue to serve, giving people space to reflect, to grieve, to say thank you, to renew hope. The Church of England is the Church for England and we are utterly committed to serving our communities with the physical resources we have.

The Archbishop of Canterbury

I commend ‘Opening the Doors’ as a means and an encouragement to communicate the Good News of Jesus Christ in our parishes in the season that we are in.

Archbishop designate Stephen Cottrell

Paul’s second letter to Timothy urges, “Preach the word: be ready in season and out of season.” We are in a season that none of us would have chosen, but we are called to share the Good News about Jesus Christ in this season just as any other. And that’s why I welcome Opening the Doors, a set of flexible resources to help us invite the people of our parishes to join us physically in worship when the time is right to do so. Some will have been engaging with worship online, or praying for the first time, or asking big questions about life. Our task is to resource them in that faith journey so that they might know God’s love in Christ for themselves.

The Archbishop of York designate