Public church services are suspended until further notice. This suspension does not apply to weddings, baptisms, funerals and licensing. However, at the discretion of the vicar, attendance at these will be restricted to immediate family, excluding anyone at risk from infection.
This is part of an announcement from the Archbishops that “The Church is Changing”, following yesterday evening’s message from the Prime Minister and discussions in Parliament.
The vicar, Ann-Marie Crosse, says ” I am very sorry that church services have had to be cancelled particularly at this time when many people are needing prayer. All three of our parish churches will be open during daylight hours and I hope you will find that they provide space and refuge when needed. I am not on holiday and if you wish to get in touch about anything at all by phone [01424 838504] or email [firstname.lastname@example.org] you are most welcome. In fact, the house is big enough, should you want to visit in ones or twos, for us to maintain ‘social distance'”
The Bishop of Chichester says “The strapline is that the church is changing. The Church, the life of the people of God, the presence of the body of Christ on earth, continues to exist. However, the manifestation of our presence is changing.”
The Archbishops say “We have called,along with our fellow church leaders,for a day of prayer and action this coming Sunday – Mothering Sunday (22nd March). Mothering Sunday has always been both a day of celebration for many and a sensitive and emotional day for some. Wherever you are this Sunday please do join in this day of prayer and action and remember especially those who are sick or anxious,and all involved in our Health Service. As one action, we are calling on everyone to place a lighted candle in their window at 7.00 p.m. as a sign of solidarity and hope in the light of Christ that can never be extinguished”
The full communication can be found at https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/news/archbishops-call-church-england-become-radically-different-public-worship.