Emergence discussions draw big Zoom audiences

Zoom surgeries on how our parishes can progress safely from lockdown have drawn audiences of 150 clergy and laity together.

Organised by the diocesan Emergence Strategy Group, the two online sessions held so far were hosted by the Archdeacon of Richmond and Craven, Jonathan Gough and Diocesan Secretary Jonathan Wood.

Question have ranged from good hygiene practices regarding church toilets to what are the recommended procedures for conducting Holy Communion.

On the subject of face coverings, whilst government advice has altered, the Church of England’s current guidance remains that this s a matter of personal choice.

The Government’s Places of Worship Task Force meets tomorrow, Thursday, and today the CofE’s adviser on medical issues, Dr Brendan McCarthy, said that the wearing of face coverings in churches is on that meeting’s agenda.

Any relevant updates on face masks and other issues will be put on the diocesan website's COVID-19 section.

Singing, indoors and outdoors, has also been an area of discussion during the Emergence Surgeries and again, Dr McCarthy said today that the current advice is unlikely to alter for several weeks.

Diocesan Secretary Jonathan Wood (pictureed) said: “The willingness of people to work together online is very encouraging.

“It indicates we can emerge from lockdown using every means, modern and traditional, to share ideas and progress our diocesan mission.

“This is definitely a format we will use again in the future.”

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