Church doors open again in a first step to what we hope will be a better future
Having been shut for nearly 12 weeks, some of the church doors in and around Louth will be reopening in the coming days. Our church buildings have been places for prayer and reflection at the heart of the communities of Louth and its surrounding villages for centuries – but for the past few weeks people have had to pray in the tranquillity of our churchyards rather than go inside the buildings to pray. With the governments easing of restrictions, churches are able to open their doors from Monday 15th June – alongside many other local facilities.
However, it will not be back to normal quite yet – as Nick Brown, the Rural Dean of Louthesk, said, “Our churches are places of prayer and peace, and it has been difficult to have them all closed at such a time as this. It is important that as well as being places of prayer and contemplation, they are also safe places to be – in all senses. This means that we can only open churches where we have necessary measures in place, and at times when there can be someone present to supervise them and support people who visit them. So this does mean that it is not quite ‘business as usual’ yet. However, we are glad that people can now come to St James’, and benefit from the quiet and peace of this place of prayer”.
From Monday 15th June, the Parish Church of St James in Louth will be open from 10am to 12noon every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Some of the other local parish churches across the local area may reopen over the coming days and weeks, and information will be available both in each local community and on the news section of the Parish of Louth website (www.teamparishoflouth.org.uk). Whilst we are glad that some local churches will be opening for private prayer, we feel very acutely the fact that we are still not able to resume public worship. However, each day the clergy and ministers of the deanery of Louthesk are maintaining regular prayer on behalf of the communities they are called to serve, and the practical work of helping those in need continues both through neighbourly support and the work of the Community Larder based at Trinity Centre.
As well as some church buildings reopening for people to use for private prayer, Trinity Centre continues to be open on a reduced basis as part of the local church’s work to serve the local community. The Community Larder is open from 9am to 10am for those in need, and operates as part of the parish’s Pastoral Care Network that has provided over 7,000 meals, 185 medication deliveries, and over 500 welfare checks on people since the beginning of lockdown. Although activities will almost certainly look different when we do reopen, we look forward to the day when our doors can be thrown open more fully!