Coronavirus – resources and guidance
Bishop Paul has recorded a second video message to the diocese in response to the coronavirus pandemic, encouraging people to join him in prayer as many feel disorientated and stressed with the emotional rollercoaster of the coronavirus.
Click on the top image to view.
In his first video Bishop Paul says there are difficult days ahead but the church will find practical ways to respond with kindness and care to people in need. He said that in times like these the people of God respond with prayer not despair.
Click on the image above to watch the video
Earlier this week it was announced that all Church of England churches are to close with immediate effect, including for private prayer, in an effort to help limit the transmission of the coronavirus COVID-19.
The archbishops and bishops of the Church of England have written collectively to clergy urging them now to close all church buildings – other than where they are needed to keep a foodbank running, but even then under strict limits.
There will be no church weddings until further notice; funerals will not take place inside church buildings and the only baptisms will be emergency baptisms in a hospital or home.
It follows the announcement by the Prime Minister of wide-ranging restrictions as part of a national and international effort to help limit the spread of the disease.
“These are unprecedented times,” the bishops write. “We are all having to get used to being the Church differently. It is not easy. However, our belonging to Christ has never been measured by the number of people in church on a Sunday morning (though we long for the day when this way of knowing Christ can return) but by the service we offer to others.
“Therefore, and despite these very harrowing restrictions, please do all that you can to minister to your people safely, especially to the sick, the vulnerable and the poor.”
The letter also seeks to provide clarity that churches will now be closed for all private prayer – including by priests.
The latest advice on the coronavirus is available on the Church of England website.
There is also information on key workers whose children might still be able to attend school – click here for more information.
There is also an extensive FAQs section on holding funerals and weddings.
The national website is being updated every day so please keep checking it for the latest guidance.