Dear Sisters and Brothers,
The church is called to bring good news to people, whatever the circumstances. In these unprecedented and challenging times, I want to thank you for the incredible array of ways in which you are being bearers of good news of comfort, care and service for the people we serve in our communities across the diocese. Right now the most particular piece of good news we need to be is to show our care for the vulnerable in our communities by being absolutely clear in observing the protocols that will help people stay safe.
Bishop Mike and I are phoning all licensed clergy across the diocese and will do so regularly, just to see how you are and how your people are. We have already spoken to some of you, and we are inspired by the creative ways the church is seeking to serve others in such difficult times. I know many of you will have questions, and I hope this message will help answer some of the common issues that have been asked in the last few days.
Guidance is being updated regularly; please keep checking the Church of England webpage – This can be found by clicking HERE. If you have not accessed the guidance in the last 24 hours, please do so as soon as possible. Please see the updated information about baptisms, weddings and funerals. I urge you to check the advice daily if not more – yesterday the advice on funerals, for example, was updated twice.
I thank you for your continued patience as this guidance is developed. We are working hard to ensure consistency across all dioceses, and so some decisions need to be taken nationally which means it can take a little while to obtain clarity, but we are here to answer any queries, even if it is to tell you we are working on getting an answer.
Please read the rest of this letter carefully. We are covering worship, an important request about clergy care and self-isolation, keyworkers, banns of marriage and deferring APCMs.
The key contacts for enquiries and advice are our office through Canon Michael Robinson, email@example.com – 01473 252829 and our Registrar, James Hall, firstname.lastname@example.org – 01473 406270 or 01473 785251 (home)