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Durham Cathedral is open for private prayer and quiet reflection.

Open for private prayer and quiet reflection


We know how much our community enjoys the sacredness of this place, and we look forward to welcoming you to your cathedral. You can light a candle, and spend time in quiet reflection and prayer.

Our opening times are:

  • Monday to Saturday, 10am-12 noon and 1pm-3pm
  • Sundays 12 noon-3pm

The Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett, Dean of Durham said: “We understand that many of you will want to encounter Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, in this ancient and sacred space. With that in mind, we hope the news of our reopening and the COVID-secure safety measures we have put in place, bring a real sense of reassurance, comfort and support to people.”

What measures are in place because of coronavirus?

The health and safety measures in place include: 

  • deep clean of the cathedral before re-opening
  • 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

Keeping you up to date

Durham Cathedral’s governing body is regularly reviewing the situation and is abiding by guidelines from the UK government, the Church of England and Public Health England. Updates will be posted here, and on our news page.

This page was reviewed on 26 June.

Updates will also be provided on our social media channels, @durhamcathedral on Facebook and Twitter.

What will my visit to Durham Cathedral be like?

Watch this short animated video which explains the measures to keep you, our staff and volunteers safe from coronavirus.



Do you charge an entry fee?

There is no fee to enter Durham cathedral, however we do ask that people donate to support the cathedral’s future if they are able. You can donate online via our website, or at the cathedral using a contactless card or one of the cash donation boxes.

Will the cathedral tower, restaurant, shop, library or Open Treasure be reopening?

At this stage the visitor attraction elements and other public engagement aspects of the cathedral life are closed, in line with current Government and Church of England guidance.

Will the toilet facilities be open?

Unfortunately, our toilet facilities will remain closed at present so that we can maintain social distancing. However, toilet facilities are available on Palace Green.

Will services inside the cathedral be resuming immediately?

No, regular cathedral services are not yet able to resume within the church, however daily worship will continue online via the cathedral’s Facebook and Youtube channels. Find out how you can join in with online worship here.

Will there be opportunities to light candles and pray for loved ones inside the church?

Yes, there will be a number of candle stands positioned along the one-way route, so that you can offer your prayers and light candles for loved ones if you so wish. 

Will I be able to access the Shrine of St Cuthbert?

No, the Shrine of St Cuthbert will not be accessible in the one-way system at this stage.  We are minimising access to the Nave of the cathedral in this first phase of the cathedral’s reopening, as we adapt to welcoming members of the public under social distancing guidelines.  Cathedral clergy are offering online worship from the Shrine so it can be seen as part of the cathedral’s broadcast services. Full details of when the shrine will be accessible to the public will be announced in due course. 

What will the one-way system look like?

Entry to the cathedral will be via the Galilee Chapel. Members of the public will be directed through the Galilee, past the visitor desk in the west end and into the Nave, where socially distanced pew seating will be available either side. From there, you will be able to access candle stations to light candle should they wish, before existing via the north nave aisle and through the North Door.  

Will there be staff on duty in the cathedral?

Yes, there will be a limited number of staff on duty to welcome you to the church, and to provide guidance on the one-way system and social distancing. 

Will there be staff on the visitor desk to provide further assistance?

There will be one member of staff behind the visitor desk at a time. They will sit behind a protective screen and will be able to assist with any enquiries you may have.

Do I have to wear a face mask to enter the cathedral?

No, while our staff have been provided with PPE, it is not essential that members of the public do so. This is based upon personal preference.

Will I have to queue to get inside Durham Cathedral?

There will be limit on the number of people allowed inside the cathedral at any time. Please be prepared to queue outside and dress appropriately for the weather should it be inclement.