Private prayer now permitted in Cardiff HelpCentre

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Press Cardiff

With effect from Monday 22 June, it will be possible to visit the UCKG HelpCentre in West Grove, Cardiff CF24 3AN for private prayer, although anyone who is shielding, vulnerable persons and people in quarantine should not attend.

This follows an announcement by the first minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, who stated that private prayer would be permissible from that date in places of worship where social distancing is maintained and gatherings do not take place.

It also reflects the fact that Bishop Álvaro Lima, the UCKG HelpCentre’s Bishop in Charge for the UK, and his senior management team are satisfied that the Cardiff branch can meet the necessary guidelines.

In preparation for this limited reopening, the Cardiff HelpCentre has been risk assessed, and equipped with everything it needs to ensure that the building can be visited safely. This includes hand gel dispensers, NHS signage, floor and general-purpose tapes to be used to restrict access and facilitate social distancing, and cleaning products. PPE is included for the pastor, his assistant and volunteers who are needed to help to manage access to the building.

Defining private prayer
Private prayer takes place when an individual or a household enters a place of worship to pray on their own, and does so on a socially distanced basis. At present communal prayer, even just with the pastor, is not permitted in churches in Wales.

“Many people find support in their churches at difficult times, and gain particular comfort from actually coming into a church to pray,” said Bishop Álvaro. “We are therefore very glad to be reopening in Cardiff. Even so, our online services will continue to be our main route to serving God and humanity for the foreseeable future and our telephone helpline 020 7686 6000 is available 24/7.”

Opening hours
Cardiff HelpCentre’s opening hours have been designed to fit around the online service times for legal and practical reasons. Entry will be permitted from 7am until 5.30pm, Monday to Friday, with closing time two hours before the main online service at 7.30pm. On Saturdays, the HelpCentre will be open from 1pm until 5pm, and on Sundays, private prayer is permitted from 12pm until 5pm.

All online services can be accessed through the links below:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/UniversalChurchUK/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/uckguk/
YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/user/uckgtv
Liberty Radio – https://www.libertyradio.co.uk
Univer Video* – https://www.univervideo.com
*(broadcasting Wednesdays 7.30pm and Sundays 10am only)

Managing access
In order to keep the public and its pastoral team safe, the Cardiff HelpCentre will observe strict access rules, with access managed by the pastor and his team wearing PPE.

Firstly, people attending for private prayer are being encouraged to bring their own face masks to be allowed entry. Should a queue develop, the time permitted for prayer will be limited to a maximum of five minutes, so that the neighbours are not inconvenienced by the potential build-up of a line of people outside.

Inside the building strict social distancing will be observed, and physical contact, such as hand-holding, will not be allowed. Also, people will be urged to not touch any surfaces unless it is strictly necessary, for instance to help in getting up out of a seat. Toilets will be available. They have been included in the risk assessment and will be subject to rigorous cleaning.

Other activities that normally take place in a HelpCentre, such as making prayer requests or donations should be done online. However, baskets will be provided for people who find this difficult, so that envelopes can be dropped off and safely handled by UCKG personnel in full PPE.

ENDS

Notes to editors

UCKG is a Christian church and registered charity that offers a range of practical support activities alongside spiritual support and comfort and welcomes all- comers. It reached the UK in 1995 and has gone from strength to strength, providing support and spreading the Christian faith. There are UCKG HelpCentre branches in England and Wales.

For further information please contact the UCKG HelpCentre Press Officer via e-mail on press@uckg.org or direct line 020 7686 6033.