St Magnus Cathedral will reopen for private prayer and reflection from Tuesday 21 July.
Orkney Islands Council’s Cultural Services Visitor Services Team Leader, Jude Callister, explained that a joint approach between the OIC and the Church had been taken.
“The Scottish Government route map allows for the reopening of places of worship when that is right for the facility to do so and we have looked to the Church of Scotland for guidance on this,” she said.
“A number of measures have been put in place to comply with current guidance on hygiene and physical distancing.
“Opening hours will be restricted initially to allow for adequate cleaning and disinfecting. A maximum of 20 people will be allowed inside at any one time to allow for safe physical distancing, so anyone planning to visit should be prepared to queue outdoors if necessary.
“Visitors will be asked to use the hand sanitiser provided when entering and leaving, to limit their visit to a maximum of 15 minutes and to follow a clearly signposted one-way route around the nave, which will be the only area of the building open to the public. Unfortunately, there will be no toilet facilities available.”
Cathedral minister, the Rev Fraser Macnaughton, added: “Many people in Orkney and further afield regard our Cathedral as a very special place and we must have all measures in place ahead of its reopening to ensure the safety of all.
“Church and cathedral staff respectfully ask that anyone wishing to spend a quiet moment in this beautiful building respect the measures that have been put in place to keep them safe, which will be reviewed and updated, if necessary, on a regular basis.”
Rev Macnaughton and members of the Kirk Session will be continuing with their programme of worship, reflections, services and organ pieces online – which have been very well received and attracted audiences from around the world.
For more information log onto the Cathedral congregation FaceBook page for organ pieces, reflections and weekly Sunday worship.
Initial opening hours will be Monday – Thursday, 10:00 - 12:00 and 14:00 – 16:00. Entry and exit via the accessible door on the south side.