YORK Minster will reopen for public worship tomorrow (Saturday) and for sightseeing visits on Saturday, July 11.

The first public service to be held at the cathedral since it closed on March 16 will be Evening Prayer at 5.30pm tomorrow, followed by services of Morning Prayer (10am), Holy Communion (11am) and Evening Prayer (4pm) on Sunday.

A number of measures have been put in place to help keep visitors and staff safe and worshippers attending public services will be asked to leave their name and contact details to assist with the NHS Test and Trace programme.

Initially, services will be simpler and shorter with no congregational singing or sharing of the Peace and the suspension of the Common Cup during Holy Communion will continue. There will also be no plate collection at the end of services, although people are encouraged to make a donation using contactless donation points inside the cathedral.

The Dean of York, the Right Rev Dr Jonathan Frost said: “We are delighted to open our doors again to welcome people for public worship and to explore this magnificent sacred space.

“Over the last few weeks we have welcomed many for individual prayer, but to gather again for worship – with relevant physical distancing measures in place – will be a huge encouragement for many.”

The regular service pattern at the cathedral from Tuesday, July 7, will be Monday to Saturday Morning Prayer (7.30am), Holy Communion (7.50am) and Evening Prayer (5.30pm) and Sundays Morning Prayer (10am), Holy Communion (11am) and Evening Prayer (4pm).

While the cathedral has been closed its clergy have taken worship online, and will continue to produce a pre-recorded Evensong service broadcast at 4pm each Sunday via its website and social media channels.

From Saturday, July 11, the Minster will extend its opening hours and welcome its first sightseeing visitors since March.

General visiting hours will be Monday to Saturday, 11am to 4pm, and Sunday, 12.20pm to 2.30pm, and visitors coming for sightseeing will need to pre-book a timed arrival slot via yorkminster.org, with tickets now available for visits from July 11 to 31, 2020.

Parts of the cathedral will initially remain closed including the Central Tower and Undercroft Museum and there will be no guided tours.

Dean’s Park is already open daily from 10am and 6pm and the Minster Shops inside the cathedral and at Minster Gates are also open daily in line with general visiting times.