Salisbury Cathedral and local churches suspend public worship

Salisbury Cathedral and local churches suspend public worship

Published by Henrietta Creasey at 1:02pm 18th March 2020.

3 minute read

Buildings remain open but people are urged to keep to the recommended 'social distance' of 2 metres.

The Diocese of Salisbury says the latest guidance from the government and the Church of the England.

The Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt. Revd Nicholas Holtam

"Our usual pattern of Sunday services and other midweek gatherings must be put on hold.  This is with immediate effect. 

"Our churches will remain open for prayer."

"Buildings can stay open.  We are not stopping church, we are not closing anything, we ARE saying 'church is changing'.

All Saints Church Broad Chalke (Mike Draper) (1)
Churches like Broadchalke's will have to stop stop Sunday services for the time being.

Weddings and funerals can go ahead where it is possible to observe social distancing (2 metres) based on common sense applied locally in buildings that are usually capable of accommodating this. 


All concerts and events have also been suspended for the time being, but the Cathedral remains open for prayer and reflection.

Visitors and anyone who wants to engage private prayer can access the building between 08.30 to 16.30 on weekdays and Saturday, and 11.30 to 16.00 on Sundays. 

Anyone visiting is advised to keep to the recommended 'social distance' of 2 metres. 

Cloisters - Salisbury Cathedral (Mike Draper) (8)
Keep 2 metres away from anyone else if you are visiting Salisbury Cathedral.

The Chapter House and Magna Carta exhibition are closed but a near perfect facsimile of the Cathedral's 1215 Magna Carta is on display in South Transept.


Salisbury Cathedral says there are plans to share worship online on their website -

The Very Revd Nicholas Papadopulos said.

"The ancient rhythm of prayer will go on unaltered at the Cathedral, but we are reluctantly suspending public worship. It is at the heart of all that we do here, however these are extraordinary times and our focus must now be on keeping our community, visitors, staff and volunteers safe. We will endeavour to reach out in other ways, sharing worship online and allowing visitors to enjoy this wonderful building on the internet for the time being, rather than in person."



Bishop Nicholas also encouraged everyone to join in the National Day of Prayer on Sunday and place a lighted candle in their window.

"It is Mothering Sunday, so a good day to give thanks for the source of our life and care of one another. Resources are being made available for people to use at home.  

"Wherever you are this Sunday please do join in this day of prayer and action and remember specially those who are sick or anxious and all involved in our Health Service. 

"As one action we are calling on everyone to place a lighted candle in their window at 7.00 p.m, if it is safe to do so, as a sign of solidarity and hope in the light of Christ that can never be extinguished."


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