Peterborough Cathedral’s first public service since lockdown will be this Sunday

July 7, 2020

Peterborough Cathedral will welcome worshippers in person for the first time since the Coronavirus lockdown on Sunday 12 July, when a service of Holy Communion will be said in the Nave.

The service has been carefully planned following Church of England and Government guidelines to ensure that any risk of infection is kept to a minimum. Worshippers will be asked to sanitise their hands on arrival and to fill up the seats, placed two metres apart, from the front. Special arrangements are in place for the safe administration of Holy Communion, and stewards will assist the congregation at the end of the service in leaving row by row, from the back.

Although there will be no singing, there will be organ music at various points during the service and some recorded music may also be played.

Worshippers are invited to download the service sheet from the Cathedral website in advance and bring it with them on their phone or tablet, or as a printed copy. They are also encouraged to make their offering using contactless payment. For those who cannot do this, some service sheets will be available and donations in cash will gratefully accepted. These items will be quarantined for 72 hours after the service.

The number of people the Cathedral can accommodate will be much smaller due to the chairs being spaced apart, so anyone who plans to come is asked to register in advance, free of charge, via the Cathedral’s Facebook event page or by calling 07393 422680. This is to give an idea of numbers so that an additional service can be planned if demand is high. Booking also means that contact details can be used for the Government’s Test and Trace scheme, should this be necessary.

Anyone who has not registered in advance will still be welcome, if space is available, and they will be invited to give their contact details for Test and Trace on arrival.

The Very Revd Chris Dalliston, Dean of Peterborough, said: “We are overjoyed that we can at last, welcome people to worship in person at the Cathedral, especially to a service of Holy Communion. While things will certainly seem strange at first, with no singing or processions, it’s been a long exile and it will be good to be back.

“We are very aware that there are many who worship with us who are not able to attend in person, whether due to distance or because they are shielding. We will therefore continue with our weekly online services. Each Sunday the service will be uploaded for viewing at any time from 9.30am, and we hope that our wider community will continue to feel very much included.”

The 10.30am public service of Holy Communion will continue each week until further notice. The clergy continue to say daily services, morning and evening. To connect with the Cathedral’s online services, visit

For more information please visit, email or call 01733 355315.


How will Holy Communion be administered safely?

Holy Communion will be administered in accordance with guidelines from the Church of England. This will mean:

  • Rows of the congregation will be invited to come forward one at a time, following the direction of the stewards. This may take a little longer than usual.
  • The bread only (not the wine) will be distributed. The priest alone will receive the wine.
  • The bread will remain covered until it is distributed. It will be handled by the priest only.
  • There will be no offertory procession.

Will there be service books?

No. If you have access to the internet, you are asked to download the Order of Service from the Cathedral website here: You can either print off a copy for your sole use, or read it on your phone or tablet if you have one.

A small number of service booklets will be produced for those who need them. You are asked to place the booklets in a basket at the back at the end of the service, so that nobody else has to handle them.

Will there be a collection?

The best thing to do is to give by contactless card at one of our collection boxes. Alternatively, you are welcome to leave a contribution at the end of the service. The collection plate will not be passed round during the service.

What other changes will I notice?

The Peace will not be shared.

Refreshments will not be served after the service.

Can I stay afterwards to chat to my friends?

Government guidance asks that the worship takes place within a short time frame, so it will not be possible to stay and talk inside the Cathedral.

What if I want to speak to one of the clergy?

If you don’t manage to have a quick word, outside, on Sunday, it is best to email or call the Cathedral on 01733 355315 (you may need to leave a message).

What do you do with the Test and Trace details?

Your details will be securely disposed of when they are no longer needed for Test and Trace. They will not be used for any other purpose.