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16th Jun, 2021

Redditch churches re-open for private prayer and contemplation

Ross Crawford 11th Jul, 2020

ST Stephen’s Church in Redditch town centre has re-opened for private prayer.

The move comes amid a gradual easing of the coronavirus lockdown.

A side chapel, used mainly for morning prayer, has been set aside so people can find a peaceful moment for reflection and prayer.

The initiative comes after what has been an unusual and surprisingly productive four months for local clergy which has seen them reach out to hundreds more people than would normally attend a Sunday service.

“We have been incredibly lucky with our clergy who have gone on to become virtual TV stars and online producers on YouTube,” said St Stephen’s church warden Elaine Whitfield.

The pandemic has also seen a strengthening of links between the various denominations among the Redditch Churches Together group.

“It has led to churches doing more activities online and people from all congregations coming together to take part,” said Alan Hands from Redditch Baptist Church.

“And of course our outreach work has continued.”

Viewing figures for online services have also surged.

“These are uncertain times and consequently there has been an increasing interest in faith,” said Elaine.

“There are some people who might not feel comfortable coming to a church and there are those who might find it impossible to go to a church.

“Besides, a church is only a building – Church is where the People are.”

St Stephen’s is open for private prayer Tuesdays 10am to midday, Thursday 2-4pm, and Saturday 10am to midday.

St Leonard’s, Beoley is open Saturdays 10-midday, St Bartholomew’s, Tardebigge Thursdays 9am to midday and Saturdays midday to 6pm.

St Philip’s, Webheath Monday 5-7pm and Friday, 10am to midday.

Hand sanitisers and temperature gauges will be available to keep people safe.

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