Dear sisters and brothers
Covid-19 and public worship
You may know that yesterday the Archbishops of Canterbury and York sent out a joint letter announcing that public worship is suspended until further notice. You can read the full letter here, and we urge you to do so. The letter makes clear that the Church of England is not “shutting up shop”, but that being part of the church is going to look very different, characterised less by attendance at church and more by the prayer and service we offer each day.
This morning we met, by video conference, with the clergy and the rest of the staff team to agree our initial response:
- We need to work out what church will look like without meeting together for services. Please bear with us as we shape what this provision might look like.
- St Mark’s will be open seven days a week from 9am to 1pm for private prayer and contemplation. Those visiting church must do so in accordance with the Government’s guidance on hygiene and distancing.
- We are acutely aware that pastoral care, in its broadest sense, will be a core part of what church looks like over the coming weeks and months. We will be mobilising and organising people so that all who need care and support receive it. We have set up a specific email firstname.lastname@example.org for all offers of/requests for support or other questions around our pastoral response.
- The wardens, clergy and staff team will have a video check-in meeting each morning and we will be communicating with you regularly. The quickest way to communicate with the majority of our church family is electronically, but we know that not everyone has access to information shared in this way. If you know anyone who might be out of the communication loop please give them a call and keep them updated.
Finally, and most importantly, we ask you to pray – that God’s love, hope and peace shines through this darkness and that we can be wise and kind in all we do and say.
In the strength of our loving Father
Charlotte and Alison