Edinburgh kirk to open chapel for socially distanced prayers

St Cuthbert’s Church will allow three people to pray at once with standalone chairs set up two metres apart.

Memorial chapel to open for private prayers. Pixabay
Memorial chapel to open for private prayers.

A memorial chapel at a church in Edinburgh is to open for private prayers as lockdown restrictions have been further eased.

St Cuthbert’s Church will allow three people to be praying at once with standalone chairs set up two metres apart to assist social distancing amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The Church of Scotland establishment is to open on certain days for two hours as the country has progressed to phase two of the lockdown exit strategy.

The Rev Peter Sutton, the church’s minister, said: “St Cuthbert’s has been a house of prayer for 1,400 years.

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“The memorial chapel has always been a place of private prayer and reflection which we always use at this time of year for visitors.

“We have created a space for private prayer with provision for three people to pray between 12pm and 2pm, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.”

He added: “The congregation is really pleased that other people will be able to drop in and experience the peacefulness of the beautiful chapel imminently.

“If it is a success and there is evidence of need, we could potentially extend the hours.”

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Meanwhile, St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh is also to open as of Wednesday for private worship.

Ruth Davidson MSP will be at the place of worship at 10.30am that day to mark the occasion.

It will be open for individual prayer every day – except Saturdays – between 10.30am and 1.30pm.

The Rt Rev Dr John Armes, Bishop of Edinburgh, said: “This is not only good news for the many people who regularly drop in to pray but it is also a symbolic moment for the church at large as we emerge from lockdown.”

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