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Durham Cathedral remains open for private prayer and quiet reflection during second national lockdown

04 November 2020

During this next phase of national lockdown, Durham Cathedral is to remain open for private prayer and quiet reflection, with daily worship taking place online via its Facebook page.


The cathedral will be open for this purpose between Monday- Saturday 10am-4pm and Sundays 11am-3pm. As was the case during the first national lockdown, members of the public will have the opportunity to light candles for loved ones during their visit if they wish. The Shrine of St Cuthbert will remain open as a place for private prayer and reflection.  


From Thursday 5 November, there will be no public worship inside the Cathedral and the Undercroft Restaurant, Cathedral Shop, Cloister and toilets will close until 2 December, in line with the latest government guidance. Durham Cathedral is joining in with a national call to prayer at 6pm each evening by tolling a single bell for one minute for the period of this national lockdown. 


The Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett, Dean of Durham said: “While news of a second lockdown is unsettling for many, we are pleased that the doors to Durham Cathedral will remain open for private prayer and quiet reflection during these challenging times. We are passionate about being able to provide a safe and peaceful space for members of our local community who want to pray and or take stock amid the ever-changing national landscape. We will continue to share the gospel of Jesus Christ through digital ministry, celebrating with our ever-expanding online congregation who regularly join with us in worship from all over the world.”


The cathedral has Good to Go accreditation and is well equipped to keep staff and memebrs of the public safe when onsite. Health and safety measures in place include:

  • social distancing and pews widely separated
  • a one-way system around the cathedral (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
  • protective screen at the visitor desk 
  • additional signage
  • limited number of people allowed in the building
  • the wearing of face coverings (Those attending the cathedral for private prayer must wear a face covering inside Durham Cathedral, except for children under the age of 11 and people unable to wear face coverings for specific reasons)
  • collecting personal details to facilitate track and trace

The cathedral will mark Remembrance Sunday during the first weekend of this new lockdown with a live-streamed Remembrance Sunday service and a virtual Festival of Remembrance concert.  On Armistice day, on the 11th November at 11am, there will be live-streamed prayers and two-minute silence.  All these acts of remembrance will take place online only. Members of the public are welcome at the cathedral for private prayers and commemoration.


A wealth of online prayer resources can be found on the cathedral’s website. Resources include ‘Praying Together’ a weekly publication to aid people in private worship which is made available every Monday here, as well as the cathedral’s brand new online Community of Prayer, which offers spiritual support and resources to members: