These are going to prove difficult and testing times for many, we need to support each other as much as is possible, without putting them or ourselves at risk. However, I personally think it is a time of great opportunity, but it will take a while to get our communications established and working well. This page will update you on what we are doing and the information we have from the Church of England and the diocese of Chelmsford..
FURTHER UPDATE FROM CHELMSFORD DIOCESE – 25th March
We have become aware this morning that there is some confusion and indeed disagreement over the use of our church buildings in the current coronavirus restrictions. It seems this arises out of a difference between the current government advice and our own diocesan guidance based on the national church’s instruction yesterday. The Church of England’s advice does go further than the governments guidance and comes from our own medical advice. In light of that advice we believe we need to take the lead in demonstrating how important it is to stay at home and that we can still be the church without our buildings, hard that is at present.
FURTHER UPDATE FOR THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND – 24th March
The Church of England strictly observes the new guidelines on staying at home and only making journeys that are absolutely necessary, such as shopping for essential items and to take daily exercise. Our church buildings must now be closed not only for public worship, but for private prayer as well and this includes the priest or lay person offering prayer in church on their own.
FURTHER UPDATE FOR THE CHELMSFORD DIOCESE – 22nd March
From Bishop Stephen. 22nd March – Because of the very large number of people contracting Covid-19 in London over the past 24 hours, from 6pm today all churches in London are being asked to close their doors. In solidarity with our sisters and brothers in the Barking Episcopal Area and in anticipation of the fact that we may all have to do this shortly, I am asking every church in the Chelmsford diocese to now close its doors to those coming for private prayer.
Previous update from the Church of England
In light of the Government guidance around non-essential contact, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have issued advice that public worship is suspended until further notice.
This is taken from the Church of England website
We are not people of fear: we are people of courage.
We are not people who protect our own safety:
we are people who protect our neighbours’ safety.
We are not people of greed: we are people of generosity.
We are your people God, giving and loving,
wherever we are, whatever it costs
For as long as it takes wherever you call us.
Barbara Glasson, President of the Methodist Conference