Worship in Church Wigan in light of the Prime Minister’s announcement on 4th January
Yesterday evening the Prime Minister instructed people in England to stay at home and only go out for essential reasons, with schools moving to online learning for all but vulnerable and keyworker children. This is enforced by law.
Communal worship remains permitted in law in places where it can be safely carried out. However, given the extremely dangerous situation in
Wigan Borough – the virus is spreading exponentially, with the highest rate of infections among the over 60s in the Greater Manchester region – we have taken the difficult decision to temporarily suspend in-person worship and private prayer in January with immediate effect.
We understand how important it is to physically come to church and worship with others, and recognise some will be saddened by this decision. Nevertheless, we feel this action best supports our brave NHS workers by reducing the risk of spreading the infection through church, especially in this critical time when much resource is needed for the vaccine rollout. We also wish to show solidarity with our neighbours, businesses and other organisations suffering the full effects of lockdown.
Church Wigan will remain open for all. Worship and prayer will continue online and via telephone, and pastoral care redoubled. Ministers will conduct funerals, and important activities like our food outlets will continue to feed those in need.
Clergy and officers of Church Wigan will work with public health experts to review the suspension of worship later on in January in the hope of resuming in-person services in February.
Rest assured of our prayers and availability in this difficult time.
Rev’d Neil Cook (Team Rector) & Rev’d Canon Sam Nicholson (Area Dean of Wigan)