Kate Bottley to lead national virtual service

BBC Songs of Praise presenter and former Gogglebox star Kate Bottley is to lead the Church of England’s national online broadcast this week from her home.

Kate will welcome viewers at the start of the broadcast and encourage them to join in the service, which will include prayers for those suffering and bereaved as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are as a nation conscious of the challenges and problems in the world at the moment, and the joy of the risen Christ can often feel far away,” she said.

Click here for a list of local churches streaming services

“Anyone can join us at this service and all those taking part for the first time are especially welcome. I hope that the prayers that are offered and the message of the gospel will go some way to help all those seeking comfort and support at this difficult time.”

The prayers will be signed using British Sign Langage by Carolyn Denmark, of St Barnabas Parish Church in Swindon, Wiltshire, who is deaf. The rest of the service will be signed by Gill Behenna, the Church of England’s National Deaf Ministry Adviser.

The sermon will be delivered by broadcaster Chine McDonald, who is Head of Media and PR at Christian Aid.  In her sermon, ahead of Christian Aid week next month, Ms McDonald will speak of the urgent need to support those living in poverty around the world who face dealing with the virus while lacking even basic medical care, food and water:

“People living in poverty are already facing a lack of water, food and medical care. As coronavirus infection rates speed-up in poorer countries, it will put a massive strain on already fragile health systems. This will be catastrophic.”

As in previous weeks, the service will be available from 9am on Sunday on the Church’s websiteFacebook page and on YouTube.