On Thurdsay November 19, Dr. Bonnie Henry, the chief medical officer of British Columbia, announced new public health orders aimed at reducing the transmission of the Covid-19 virus. As a result of these new orders all Churches and houses of worship are required to suspend in-person worship until December 7. It is expected that this public health order will be extended beyond that date.
Following the direction of the Diocese of New Westminster and in consultation with the Trustees and Wardens of Christ Church Cathedral, the decision has been made to suspend all in-person worship services at the Cathedral until further notice.
While we did not hope for this, we have planned for it. Thanks to the careful forethought of our dean, the Very Reverend Christopher A. Pappas, Cathedral staff, and Trustees, we are prepared, confident that the Spirit is guiding our leadership during this time.
The Cathedral’s motto is “Open Doors, Open Hearts, Open Minds” and the decision to temporarily suspend public worship was a very difficult one to make. However, the primary concern of Cathedral trustees, clergy, and staff is the wellbeing of all members of the Cathedral community. Being Christ’s hands and feet means taking the lead in modelling safety for our city and each other.
What does this mean for the Cathedral?
The Cathedral is returning to worshipping under “Phase One” safety protocols. All in-person services are immediately suspended until further notice.
For many of us this change was not unexpected, but is nonetheless challenging as we head into Advent and Christmas. Next week the Cathedral will send out a full list of ministries, prayer groups, formation activities, and opportunities for Advent reflection that will be available on-line.
Most Cathedral staff will return to working from home, effective immediately, until the new year.
The Maundy Cafe will continue to operate three days a week, (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday) using a grab-n-go take out model to distribute meals from the plaza in front of the lower Burrard St. doors.
The Cathedral building continues to be closed to the public.
You can join in worship in the following ways:
10:30am - Choral Eucharist - Livestream - Watch HERE
5:30pm - Evening Prayer with St. Brigid’s - On-Line via Zoom - Register here to receive the Zoom link.
Morning Prayer - Continues Monday to Friday via Zoom. Please email Jonathan if you wish to join in.
This Sunday we celebrate the Reign of Christ and the anniversary of the Cathedral’s dedication. The first sermon preached at the Cathedral was on Revelation 3:8, an astonishingly relevant passage for the moment in which we now find ourselves: “I know your works. Look, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.”
Though the physical doors to our building have been closed, the open door to Christ’s love can never be shut; it is our duty and our joy to keep God’s word and make known Christ’s name in this time and place.
To read Archbishop Melissa Skelton's letter communique about the new health orders please click here.
The Reverend Helen Dunn, Cathedral Vicar
on behalf of the Very Reverend Christopher A. Pappas
Emily Pritchard, Rector’s Warden on behalf of the Cathedral Wardens and Trustees