Monday, 23 March 2020

Following the Prime Minister's Statement

Following the Prime Minister's statement this evening, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and all of our Bishops have released the following joint statement:

The Archbishops and Bishops of the Church of England have urged everyone to follow the instructions given by the Prime Minister to stay in their homes in a national effort to limit the transmission of the coronavirus (COVID-19). But they called on the Church to “continue to pray, to love, to care for the vulnerable”.

It follows the announcement by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson of sweeping restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.

It means all Church of England churches will close with immediate effect in line with the Government’s instructions. There will also be no Church weddings or baptisms.

Funerals at the graveside or in crematoriums can still take place, but only in line with the Prime minister’s Statement.

In a joint statement the bishops said: “In the light of the Government’s measures, announced by the Prime Minister this evening, we urge everyone to follow the instructions given.

“We will give a fuller statement of advice as soon as possible. Let us continue to pray, to love, to care for the vulnerable, and build our communities, even while separated.”

This will be difficult news for all of us to hear.

I will be in touch with you again in a day or so with fuller details about how a team of us will be in checking in with you over the weeks to come.

For now, please join me and Sam and our Wardens and Readers in following this advice; to committing ourselves to acts of loving service to our neighbours where we can; and to praying for hope - for each other, our neighbourhoods, our nation and our world at challenging time.

Fr Simon

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