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Worship Safety Measures

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We have put a number of measures in place to keep our staff and visitors safe during worship including physical distancing measures, additional cleaning regimes and limiting touch points.

Worship times

  • Services

For details of our current service pattern from the 4 July, please see our What’s On section.

  • Individual prayer

You are welcome to visit for individual prayer during our regular opening times. These are currently 11am – 4pm Monday to Saturday, and 12.30pm – 2.30pm on Sundays. Please note our opening times are subject to change – please check our Plan Your Visit page for the latest information.

Changes to services

Initially our worship will feel different as we follow Church of England guidance to ensure everyone is safe. Services will be very simple, there will be no singing, plate collections or sharing of the peace and guidance relating to Holy Communion will be implemented. There will be no paper orders of service and guides to worship will be available on the website; you do not need an order of service to participate in the worship. But over time we hope music, singing and other important aspects of our worshipping life will be re-introduced.

Due to major work being done to the cathedral’s Grand Organ, we have also temporarily arranged the seating in the Nave so it faces the Great West Window, which contains the Heart of Yorkshire. It is hoped its symbol and message of love can provide a focus for people’s prayers and devotions.

Entry and exit

Entry to the Minster for individual prayer and all services except for weekday Morning Prayer at 7.30am and 7.50am is through the doors at the West End, with exit via the South Transept. Entry for the weekday Morning Prayer service is via the South Transept.

There will be signage and our welcome staff on hand to ensure people can enter safely and physically distance from people outside of their group.

Physical distancing measures inside

To ensure people can safely physically distance inside the cathedral we are:

  • Limiting the number of people inside the cathedral by reducing our capacity to 25%.
  • Operating a one-way system which is clearly sign posted and facilitated by staff.
  • Reducing seating and spacing our chairs in rows 2m apart.

Face coverings

Our staff and clergy will be available to welcome you during your visit wearing face visors or masks.

In line with government guidance, we will require all visitors to wear face coverings during worship or while visiting for sightseeing from Saturday 8 August. Visitors will be asked to bring their own face coverings or visors and will only be given entry to the cathedral if they are wearing them.

Hand sanitiser

There are hand sanitiser points for public use at the entry and exit – please do make use of these as you enter and leave the cathedral.

Toilets and baby change

Our toilets and baby change facilities are open. To enable physical distancing for people using the facilities we are operating a one-in, one-out policy, with a physically distanced queue facilitated by our welcome staff.  The toilets will be cleaned every hour during general visiting times.


Cleaning protocols are in place to ensure the Minster is cleaned at regular intervals throughout the day. During general visiting times the toilets will be cleaned every hour and staff will be cleaning high contact surfaces around the cathedral regularly throughout the day.


Like many organisations, York Minster is now facing a huge financial impact due to the Coronavirus pandemic. This year our income from visitors and other sources is projected to reduce by £5.2m.

For hygiene reasons, there will be no plate collections during services and we are unable to accept cash donations for candles but we do have contactless donation points in the cathedral’s Nave. We would appreciate any support you can give us at this time as we work to further our Mission and safeguard the future of the cathedral.

You can also make a donation online HERE

Thank you for your support.

NHS Test and Trace – collecting contact details

York Minster has now been asked to take your name and a contact telephone number or e-mail when you attend for worship.  This will only be used if there is a need to contact you due to the Test & Trace programme.  Please bring a piece of paper or card with your contact details on it with you and put it in the box provided at the entrance.  We will hold this information securely and will destroy it after 21 days. For full details of how we will collect, hold and use your personal data see our Privacy Notice for Worshippers

Weddings and Funerals

Weddings and funerals are now permitted to take place at the Minster, with limits on the number of people who can attend and physical distancing measures in place. For full details and to make an enquiry about these services, please visit our Life Events section

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