Derby Cathedral will revert to online-only worship from Sunday, 10th January.
The Very Revd Peter Robinson, Dean of Derby, made the announcement in a letter to the cathedral community.
Services will be led by a small group of clergy and laity and streamed through our social media channels.
It is heartening to know that the safety measures we already have in place mean that this group can involve the Lay Clerks of Derby Cathedral Choir, so that our services will include music.
The cathedral will remain open for private individual prayer during the week, and we will be adding to our programme of activities and worship available online, making more resources of all kinds available to the cathedral community and the diocese.
These arrangements will be kept under review. We hope that in coming weeks or months we will see success in the measures everyone is taking against this pandemic and improvement in the public health situation locally.
For some of you this will be somewhat of a relief. For others it will be a cause of disappointment.
As I write, this is not the message that earlier in the week I had anticipated sending.
The new lockdown has not made it compulsory for places of worship to close their doors. Church leaders have been clear that this means decisions can be made locally about what the right response is to the situation we are in.
You will be aware that the public health situation in Derby is very serious. Following government and Church of England guidance, and after consulting with public health authorities in Derby, we have decided that at present the right response is to limit as much as possible any physical gathering of people.
Although I regret the need to take this decision, it is I believe the right one in current circumstances. To serve the common good we need to make this temporary and timely sacrifice, so that before too long we can all gather for worship again.
Please continue to join with the whole cathedral community in prayer for our nation’s key decision makers at this deeply challenging time.
Especially, let's pray for those who are struggling with a Covid-19 infection and remember those who have lost loved ones as a result.
We pray for all those in the NHS who are serving so valiantly against all the odds in the midst of so many challenges.
This comes with every blessing to you all, the prayers of the cathedral team and my very good wishes.