Following a consultation with the PCC yesterday, it has been decided to restrict Priory services to on-line only. The following is a letter that the Rector has sent to the PCC.
“As you will have seen from the news last night, there were 62,000 new infections and over 1000 new deaths yesterday. We are at the same level as the pandemic in April of last year and in the midst of a new more transmissible strain. The former Chief Government Scientific Adviser (Sir Mark Walport) said last night that this new strain was a “game changer” and I cannot disagree.
There was a large majority in favour of Option B which means that the decision has been made by the PCC to close the Priory but leave the Tower open for private prayer. Our Services will continue on-line as before.
We are now in a race to vaccinate and I anticipate that our re-opening will be linked, to a large degree, by the speed of the vaccination programme. We are hopefully close to the end of this pandemic but it would be tragic if anyone were to become infected through their attendance at Church. Despite our precautions, we have already had one close call and we might not be so fortunate again
Although I have a heavy heart, I am in agreement with the decision and will inform the Bishop this morning. He has already indicated that he will support any such decision in the current climate.
Yesterday was the Feast of Epiphany. We read the story of the Wise Men at the funeral of Bernard Windle and their journey to see the Christ child. Their journey was fraught with danger and they took sensible precautions to keep themselves safe on their journey home. I believe that we now are doing the same.
With thanks and blessings
(Rector Bolton Priory)”