Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 7 November 2020

Trevor Thurston-Smith The Pensive Pilgrim The Harsh Truth Unlocked by Lockdown

Giles Fraser UnHerd Boris Johnson doesn’t get God
“This second lockdown has robbed church-goers of more than community”

Alistair Macdonald-Radcliff Church Times The Church’s sacramental ministry is not an optional extra
“The precautions in place in churches mean that there is no justification for suspending public worship”

Church Times Leader Worship banned

Paul Bayes ViaMedia.News Uphill Struggles and the Road to Peace

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
11 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Father David
16 days ago

Never known a Remembrance Sunday like this one before and I can remember over 60 previous solemn Remembrance Sundays. Hitler couldn’t close the churches but Covid 19 has – TWICE!

Interested Observer
Interested Observer
15 days ago

The problem for churches with Covid is that “churches” and “places of worship” covers everything from Giles Fraser organising things well in a large parish church through a new church group meeting in a rented school hall to a dozen anti-masker anti-vaxers packed into someone’s front room and mumbling a prayer before getting on with the business of conspiracy theories about 5G. Drawing up legislation which both covers all those scenarios without requiring what amount to the return of the Test Acts (the first and second are legitimate worship, the third is a bad faith attempt to dress up a… Read more »

Michael
Michael
15 days ago

Another bleat, sorry, opinion piece in the Sunday Telegraph today from the Archbishop of York complaining about the cessation once more of public worship. Where was he in March when the Archbishop of Canterbury declared in writing that public worship is not essential? When the House of Bishops said nothing in defence of keeping churches open in March, at the very least for private prayer? The die was cast. I expect Lockdown 2 to be extended so there will be no carol services, no midnight mass and no Christmas Day communion other than on Facebook or Zoom for the benefit… Read more »

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
15 days ago
Reply to  Michael

Do I detect an anti-clerical theme? Bp Stephen had not been translated to York in March so cannot be blamed for Canterbury’s fiat. And if Lockdown 2 extends over Christmas, priests will not be offering Eucharist for their own benefit but that “thy whole Church may obtain remission of our sins, and all other benefits of his passion.”

Michael
Michael
15 days ago
Reply to  Allan Sheath

Yes Bp Stephen had not yet been translated to York in March. However in the Times on 9th April it was reported: Members of the Church of England clergy who have volunteered their services as hospital chaplains during the crisis have been told that they will not be allowed to minister to any sick or dying patients at the bedside, even when wearing protective equipment, because of the risk of spreading the infection. In a letter sent to all bishops and those involved in chaplaincy provision, the Right Rev Stephen Cottrell, the Bishop of Chelmsford, under whose authority the new Nightingale… Read more »

Last edited 15 days ago by Michael
Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
15 days ago
Reply to  Michael

In which case why not rejoice over one bishop repenting, rather than labelling his opinion piece a “bleat”,

Michael
Michael
15 days ago
Reply to  Allan Sheath

And: The following day in the Times, two exasperated letters: 1. The decision by the Right Rev Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford, to ban clergy from the bedsides of the sick and dying (report, Apr 9) could not be a worse call. In short, the bishop is instructing Church of England clergy who have volunteered their services as hospital chaplains during the crisis to “pass by on the other side”. I would imagine NHS staff would welcome the support of volunteer chaplains, providing that they have sufficient PPE gear for them. Is a patient’s spiritual state of mind so unimportant… Read more »

Kate
Kate
15 days ago
Reply to  Michael

I heartily agree with Michael. Since the bishops (including the now Archbishop of York) took the view in the spring that gathering for worship wasn’t essential, it is unsurprising that arguments to the contrary are now ignored by the Government. If the bishops really want public worship to resume they would resign and let voices untainted by the calamitous earlier decision to take centre stage. Unsurprisingly, I suspect none of them will feel that worship is worth their “career”. I am afraid my respect for the episcopate sinks ever lower.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
15 days ago

I find it amazing that an “established church” is more adamantly opposed to the government’s attempts to contain a widespread infection than the “free” churches (and here I include nearly all except the non-denominational megachurches and some ultra-orthodox Jewish congregations) in my own country. No US denomination–Catholic or Protestant–has been so all-fired opposed to the restrictions placed upon them last spring (when we were equally shut off from public worship) or the less stringent ones we operate under now. In fact, some denominations took longer to return to public worship than the government would have allowed. Around me, Episcopalians largely… Read more »

Kate
Kate
15 days ago
Reply to  Pat O'Neill

I think a lot of people of my generation grew up with the custom (let’s call it that to avoid argument) of eating fish every Friday and taking Communion every Sunday (at least).

Father David
15 days ago

Closing churches yet again and banning public worship may well give the impression that the church is a dangerous place to be in! This perception could have a profound effect in hastening future decline, with attendances already falling at an alarming rate. Following the first lock down I noted that between a quarter and a third of my then congregation did not return. I wonder what will be the effect on the size of congregations when this second lock down concludes? Full marks to the Churchwardens and their teams of volunteers who were meticulous in the way in which they… Read more »

11
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x