DURHAM Cathedral was blessed by the Dean of Durham ahead of its reopening for private prayer on Monday.

The Very Reverend Dean of Durham, Andrew Tremlett, stood outside of the cathedral’s iconic North Door and blessed the entrance to the church ahead of welcoming members of the public inside in the morning for private prayer and quiet reflection on the first day of reopening.

After nearly a three-month closure due to Covid-19, a small queue had formed of people keen to immerse themselves in the atmosphere of the ancient and sacred space.

The Dean said during the blessing: “We open the doors of this holy place where prayer is valid, that all who come within its doors after many days of closure may find comfort and reassurance in the presence of God the Father who created us, God the Son who redeemed us, and God the Holy Spirit who strengthens us.”

After the blessing the he ventured inside to light a candle on the Crossing, following the new one-way system that leads people through the cathedral’s nave.

This is something that members of the public who plan on coming to the church for prayer and reflection in the days to come will also be able to do, should they wish to offer their prayers in this way.

A small team of specially trained staff were on duty to welcome people back and to reinforce the enhanced health and safety measures in place to ensure the cathedral is Covid-secure.

These measures include: social distancing and pews widely separated, a one-way system around the cathedral’s nave (with entry via the Galilee Chapel and exit via the North Door), regular cleaning of the cathedral, hand sanitiser for staff and members of the public, specially trained staff on duty and a limited number of people allowed in the building

The cathedral is open from Monday to Saturday 10am-12pm and 1pm–3pm and Sundays 12– 3pm.

Visitors are asked to note, the cathedral’s toilet facilities, Open Treasure museum, central tower, library, restaurant and shop, as well as the cloister remain closed at present. The cathedral is not yet open for public worship, however daily worship continues online via the cathedral’s Facebook and YouTube channels.

Find more information visit www.durhamcathedral.co.uk.