On Tuesday 17th March 2020 – in order to restrict the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19 – the Archbishops of York and Canterbury issued the instruction to the Church of England that no services or gatherings are to take place in Churches for the time being – beginning with immediate effect.
This means no usual church services, morning prayer, midweek services, Lent groups, toddler groups, other gatherings and meetings, weddings or baptisms unless fewer than 6 people attend. Funerals continue but again with limited numbers of people in attendance.
You can read their words here.
This will be a huge shock to many in our two churches, and also to the wider community in which we serve. But their letter affirms what we already know; that ‘church’ is much more than Sunday Services, and although this will be a sadness to us all, we will in the next few weeks and months find new ways to be church in our community.
The Archbishops remind us that these precautions are taken because of our responsibility to love our neighbours (not to contribute in any way to the spreading of the COVID-19 corona virus).
It does not mean, however, that we stop being ‘The church’. Rather, we are invited to experiment – and be creative – with praying, worshipping and serving each other differently.
For example, some excellent online resources for daily prayer can be found on the Church of England’s website and we will share other resources on this website.
As things settle, and we begin to understand our situation better, we will need to think about how we can provide sustainable care and support to the most vulnerable and isolated in our parish. We will hope to innovate new ways to worship and pray as a community; we will try to open the doors of the church for prayer and reflection, (but not for services); we will try to use technology and creativity to nurture and support the lives of those for whom our care does not stop; we will continue to pray for all affected by this virus, both physically – but also economically and mentally.
Our overall aim will be to offer support to those who need it, and the opportunity to continue connecting with God through the ministry of the church throughout the coming crisis. I will be updating details as they arise or change.
Please help us to be the very best we can be in these challenging times,
With love and every blessing,
Revd Becky & Revd Gary