Responding to the Government announcement that church buildings will be able to reopen for public worship from 4th July, providing physical distancing remains in place, The Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham said: “I welcome the announcement that permission for public worship in our church buildings has been agreed from July 4th. It will take some while for our churches to work through the practical implications of the reopening of our buildings for public worship. So this will happen over a period of time, not in a sudden rush.“The church has been open throughout the difficult last 3 months. We have been heavily engaged in serving the communities in which we are set including through Foodbanks, supporting the shielded, conducting funerals, our schools serving the children of key workers and a range of other ways. There has been a great deal of public prayer and worship available online, and via the phone. As we begin to return to worship in our church buildings we will want to ensure we are offering the warmest of welcomes but doing so seeking to ensure the health and safety of all who choose to attend.
At 10.30am on Sunday 13th September we will hold our Communion Service for the first time since lockdown - it will be a very different service following all current guidelines which now of course include the wearing of masks. Until that time the church building will be open each Sunday 10.30 - 11.30 am for private prayer. Please follow all distancing and hygiene guidance. For those unable or feeling unsafe about attending church Gateshead Deanery will continue to stream a service on their Facebook page at 10.00 every Sunday https://www.facebook.com/GatesheadDeanery/