Covid – 19, Updates from Bishop Libby
From Bishop Libby
For many, the government statement that places of worship may be open, from June 15th, for individual prayer will be welcome. Public access to our buildings – centres of community identity, physical icons of hope, treasured receptacles of our prayer and worship – has been much missed.
However, this new permission is very limited, providing only for specific, measured and controlled activity. Where church buildings are being used for worship, whether privately or streamed, that must remain behind closed doors by clergy and their households only. These small steps still require appropriate public health protocols in place. And it is only permission, where possible and beneficial; it is not a requirement.
We know that many church communities rely on those who are at risk, the elderly, those with limiting conditions or are otherwise vulnerable. We must not put people at risk in our understandable desire to re-open our buildings. And those who have to keep shielding may feel further isolated if others can return to much loved buildings without them. Our buildings are precious and important, but people matter more.
We are learning much together in these times. As some aspects of familiar practice begin to return, let’s not forget what God has been doing among us, let’s continue to bear with one another and carry each other’s burdens.
For we are the body of Christ: “God has so arranged the body … that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together with it.” (1 Cor. 12)
For most, June 15th may be too soon to re-open their building, and that is fine. As we have responded differently and locally to offering worship, ministry and care under the restrictions of Covid-19, so we will respond according to local capacity and possibility, at different rates and at different times, as those restrictions are slowly lifted. Our assumption is that most of our buildings will not re-open immediately, and those who want to must demonstrate the frameworks they have in place to do so safely (please see the information below).
Yours, in continuing faith, hope and love,
A prayer for troubled times
God of love,
turn our hearts to your ways,
and give us peace.
Derbyshire Police Cyber Protection
Derbyshire Police have launched a campaign to share vital information to protect our friends and family against digital crime and fraudulent activity, which is becoming increasingly prolific, especially during the current times where many of us will be spending more time online.