Lent Blog – 6: OPENING UP

Published Tue, 23/02/2021 by

At the point of writing, I haven’t heard in detail about the Prime Minister’s road map for exiting lockdown.  Just snippets here and there during the course of Monday (22nd February) plus broad hints over the weekend. 

This time the Government is signalling caution: “Slow and steady” is the message.  No-one wants another lockdown.  

I’m consulting the Pastoral Council this week for their views on reopening the churches in Belper, Duffield and Ripley.  The infection rate in the Midlands is the highest of all the English regions.  Numbers in Amber Valley remain stubbornly high (currently, nearly three times the national average).  Obviously concerning.  On the other hand, the vaccination rollout creates a more upbeat mood all the time.

We need consensus in the parish about when to reopen, just as we had in early January when we closed.  We must weigh residual risks against the uplifting difference that worshipping together as a community brings.  I so hope we can open by Easter.  A closed building on the day the Church celebrates the Lord’s resurrection is all wrong.  

MICHAEL KIRKHAM