The moves to ease restrictions on singing progress achingly slowly. On 30 June the C of E included this sentence in its guidelines for the resumption of public worship: ‘Singing, chanting and playing of brass or woodwind instruments are not recommended, but a further update will follow soon.’
Based on those guidelines, which also stipulate that the advice governing open-air services is exactly the same as for services inside the building (why???), Wimborne Minster has reluctantly decided that our al fresco evensong cannot go ahead within the current guidelines.
But ‘a further update will follow soon’: how soon is soon? From a memo circulated this morning to professional orchestras we learn that the restrictions governing singing and the playing of wind/brass instruments are being eased. What does this mean, and how long will it take the C of E to catch up?
In the meantime, Jeremy is exploring one further option at a ruined abbey in the south-east outskirts of London. We have narrowed the date down to Friday 24 July, and I promise to let you know by Friday 10 July what is happening. This is nail biting stuff: if we cancel and the guidelines change two days later then it would be frustrating in the extreme.