Thinking Anglicans

Church of England advice on Coronavirus

The official Church of England website page, which is being updated regularly, is here. It shows the date and time of the most recent update.

It also says:

This page contains guidance, particularly for the Church of England:

Church in Wales advice

Scottish Episcopal Church advice

Church of Ireland advice

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FrogholeT PottJohn WallaceJanet HendersonRod Gillis Recent comment authors
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Froghole
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Froghole

I am afraid that this virus may prove to be an irretrievable catastrophe for the churches, and especially for the Church of England. In view of the demographic profile of the overwhelming number of congregations, and the high risk of contagion, the time cannot be far off (if it is not upon us already) when attending church might be deemed a dangerous – even an anti-social – activity. Since most churches now have only the most slender reserves and are supported by small numbers of elderly attendees, any hiatus in attendance may cause financial crises. I expect that parish and… Read more »

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Here in Nova Scotia (Canada) the local Roman Catholic archbishop has suspended all liturgies until further notice (link). Most Anglican parishes have asa less than 150 people, the threshold the provincial gov’t is using for banning public gatherings.
https://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/halifax-yarmouth-archbishop-cancels-mass-liturgies-and-large-church-gatherings-1.4852487

Bill Broadhead
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Bill Broadhead

Compare and contrast the C of E’s complicity with the inertia of the Westminster government with the approach of the Church of Ireland – especially with Sentamu going ahead with his evangelistic circus this weekend and three-line-whipping the Northern bishops to join in with the razmataz. How many over 70s are going to be gathered together in close proximity? Typically irresponsible.

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

‘razmataz’, what a great word! I gather the Lambeth Conference planners are ‘monitoring’ the situation. We had about 2/3 our normal attendance at the parish communion service this morning, which I thought was pretty good given the local vibe. Communion in one kind, no physical contact during the pax, no ‘passing the plate’. What is interesting is that while our demographic is slated elderly, many people seemed more concerned about someone else.

John Wallace
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John Wallace

That was the experience in my parish, although the 8am (mostly over 60s was about normal as against being very low last week) – had they realised last week that I was preaching? The ‘changes’ are causing pastoral concerns, unlike the last Sars epidemic some years ago. We need to support each other in all ways to show Christian love. . I’m not sure that technology is the answer. A US megachurch which usually attracts 1500 or so, closed their church and streamed their services. I logged on (not my worship style) and was suprised that I was one of… Read more »

John Wallace
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John Wallace

I’d like to add words from Martin Luther when the plague was threatening Wittenburg in 1526 (494 years ago and still relevant): You ought to think this way: “Very well, by God’s decree, the enemy has sent us poison and deadly offal. Therefore, I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine, and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence.… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
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You still had services, Rod? Here in Edmonton Diocese Bishop Jane has suspended all public worship services until the end of the month (and personally, I can’t see things changing by then). The Chief Medical Officer of Health for Alberta has forbidden all gatherings of over 50 if they include seniors, and this afternoon she removed the exemption she had given to places of worship a few days ago.

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Tim, we had services yesterday Sunday March 15th in accord with provincial public health guidelines in place at that time (no gatherings over 150 people). Public health direction was updated yesterday afternoon. The diocesan bishop (see link) has now cancelled all services and gatherings in accordance that updated public health directive. Every decision the diocese and its parishes here have taken has been in lock step with provincial public health advisories and alerts. Our public health people here are top drawer experts, as I am sure yours are as well.

https://www.nspeidiocese.ca/pages/covid-19-in-the-diocese-of-nova-scotia-and-prince-edward-island–183

Michael Mulhern
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Michael Mulhern

The big difference in Ireland, Bill, is between Northern Ireland and the Republic. Arlene Foster, the DUP First Minister is doggedly following the rest of the UK (in contrast to the way she completely refused to do when it came to equal marriage and abortion!), in keeping schools and pubs open, and Church of Ireland Dioceses in the North seem to be following this by keeping services going. The Roman Catholic Church has been much more decisive – not least because it is a global rather than ‘national’ church. The Church of Ireland has issued almost daily – and decisive… Read more »

Janet Henderson
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It’s not just the chalice but also the bread that seems a likely source of infection. Most priests and administrants take the bread first. They therefore put their hands in close contact with their mouth and nose. They then go on to put their hands in close contact with the hands of every person they administer to. I don’t think it would be too sacrificial either to return to the mediaeval practice of the priest only receiving (and in an age of plague, perhaps there was good reason for this) or people bringing their own bread which they hold up… Read more »

T Pott
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T Pott

Another difference between the RoI and the UK is that the government of the Republic is publishing advice to churches. The RC Archbishop of Westminster in an interview on Radio 4 on Saturday, spoke of a liaison group between the main churches in the Uk and government medical experts. The Republic has publically advised against the Common Cup. As far as I can see no official medical authority has done so in the UK. Thus the strange statement by Canterbury and York that in their “view” it is “necessary” to suspend the Common Cup. I never thought I’d say this,… Read more »

Froghole
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Froghole

I should hasten to add that I am no lord though, like many, I am feeling nearer to *the* Lord! It is not so long ago that national days of prayer were routine: see for instance, Philip Williamson’s ‘National Days of Prayer: The Churches, the State and Public Worship in Britain, 1899–1957’ in the English Historical Review, Volume 128, Issue 531, April 2013, pp. 323–366. Whilst it might be controversial to do something along these lines in the current political climate, even on an inter-faith basis, I suspect that many improbable people are turning to prayer as they reflect, for… Read more »