The power of prayer, married to modern technology, will create new opportunities for worship during this challenging time, Bishop Nick has told clergy.
In a letter which addresses the coronavirus pandemic, Bishop Nick explains how worship must continue and adapt to the issues we all now face.
This special Ad Clerum also states that while public services of worship should now cease, our churches can remain open within new rules on safe practice, issued by the Church of England.
“We are drawn by hope, not driven by fear,” writes Bishop Nick.
“Our trust is in the God who raised Jesus, and we walk with grace-filled and hope-fuelled hearts, following this same Jesus who gave his life for us.”
“The threat to public health and the economy appears to grow by the day. We will also be conscious of those who are elderly, live alone, have underlying health problems or are isolated.
“We need to consider how to offer practical care and love to them during these uncertain times. This includes prayer, care and attention.
“Public services of worship should now cease, but prayer and worship must not.
“Some churches are already live-streaming services so that people can join in online wherever they are.”
The Diocese of Leeds Communications Team is able to help advertise such events and is also happy to advise on delivering the best results.
“We now face both a challenge and an opportunity,” Bishop Nick continues.
“The challenge has to do with how we worship, where we pray, how we share together, and how we care for those around us to whom we are committed. The opportunity is, when everything is stripped back to essentials, to rediscover what it is to be the church dispersed when we are unable to be the church gathered.
“We can also get back to the simplicity of praying without the hectic activity that often shapes our lives. We also have the opportunity to step up to leadership in our communities in fresh ways.
“We must not use the language of ‘social distancing’, but, rather, ‘physical distancing’.
“Social interaction is now more important than ever; we just have to be more creative about how we enable people to interact without touch, contact or, sometimes, presence.
“We are called to be good shepherds – feeding the sheep whatever the weather.”
Bishop Nick’s Ad Clerum March 18 2020 can be read in full here: https://www.leeds.anglican.org/content/ad-clerum-bishop-nick-18-march-2020-coronavirus