Archbishop Welby: "Separated however collectively"

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"Our Alleluias are not silenced, but dispersed," wrote the Archbishop of Canterbury, when churches around the world celebrated Easter in an unprecedented way.

In his ecumenical Easter letter, which was sent to international church leaders on Tuesday, he wrote that in the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic, "although (we) are separate, the risen Christ is with us".

"And with you too – unless we lose the signal. In this case, without you."

The virus, he writes, “has taken many lives and continues to inflict pain, suffering and distress on our world. We mourn with those who mourn and mourn with those who mourn. We pray for those who suffer and for those who care for them, and we commit the nations of the world and their leaders to God's gracious care and protection. . .

“Churches and congregations cannot gather around the world. But the people of God in their homes combine their prayers and praise with the Church around the world. Our Alleluias are not silenced, but dispersed.

“People are finding new ways to express community through technology, and communities are finding new ways to protect the vulnerable in their midst. Because Christ has risen and death has been defeated. Even in times of darkness and uncertainty, we can be sure of that. Although the church is marked by grief and sorrow, it still calls "Alleluia". "

On Wednesday, nearly 95,000 people in the UK tested positive for Covid-19. A lack of testing means that the true number of those infected with the virus is unknown. More than 12,000 people have died in this country – twice as many as at this time last week.

A woman who saw her husband die in hospital from Covid-19 the day before her 43rd wedding anniversary said Tuesday on BBC Radio 4's Today program, “He had enough mentally and physically. We are Christians and he was ready to go. "

The woman, known only as Hannah to protect her identity, first contracted coronavirus. Her husband John, 75, who had mild asthma, fell ill four days later. When his condition worsened and palliative care was offered, she called her pastor, who reminded her of her wedding day.

“The principal read the prayers for the vow renewal service John heard over the speakerphone, and then we said goodbye. . . I could hold his hand and kiss his forehead as he became more and more troubled.

"At that point I said," Do you want something more or just peace? "And he raised his thumb for peace." They spoke to their sons on the phone before he died. "It's not a gentle death," she said.

Hannah also spoke of the cruelty and loneliness of the illness. “My friends and my church have gathered. You were fabulous. But nobody can hug me. "

FACEBOOK / ALL SAINTS CANTERBURYChocolate surprise: Easter eggs were left in front of All Saints in Canterbury on Easter Day. Community members were invited to help themselves

A network of more than 1,000 churches from 40 denominations has created a new hotline for people who have difficulty handling it during the Covid 19 pandemic., a charity launched by the Good Faith Foundation (GFF) in response to the crisis, now operates a national call center and email support manager Monday through Sunday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

In a statement on Good Friday it says: “ compares registered churches with people in need so that they can help them buy food, offer the hungry food and go to the pharmacy, as well as all other needs of the person. We are incredibly grateful to the Oasis Trust for their partnership in providing the telephone service. "

In 2015, the GFF worked with the Home Office, churches and civil organizations to build the Community Sponsorship Scheme that resettled more than 500 refugees from churches and community groups in the UK.

Rev. Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, told BBC News on Tuesday: “This initiative has grown from nothing to 1,000 churches in a week. It is phenomenal. . .

“Jesus, who rose from the dead, says that death is not the end, fear should not hold us. It's about new hope, new opportunities, new life. That is our message every day of the year, but at this special time when we face situations that none of us imagined. . . It is another way of saying that we believe that the risen Jesus inspires and helps us. "

Irrespective of this, the Chichester Diocese, in collaboration with Together in Sussex, has set up a hotline to provide pastoral support to those who have recently survived and those suffering from the pandemic. A diocesan spokeswoman said the leadership is staffed by volunteers who are "trained in pastoral care and hearing," including clergymen and licensed lay ministers.

“All volunteer listeners have completed security training with the diocese. You can refer callers to other organizations that may offer professional assistance, and also to pastor clergy. The audience offers to pray for the caller or for their concerns. "

TwitterHomemade crosses: one by Philip Walsh in the Blackburn diocese. . .

Hospital chaplains in the diocese would lead people to worship, she said, although the phone line is open to everyone, whether churchgoers or not, who live in Sussex. The number is 01273 425047. It is open from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., at least until the end of next month.

The diocese has also created a map on which people can print and take them to the hospital. It says that they are Christians and agree to a chaplain's visit to the hospital. The cards are distributed by clergy and churches.

In York, religious leaders, funeral directors, and the York City Council have agreed a plan that will allow a limited number of the deceased's immediate family members to say goodbye to ashes of relatives outside the gates of the crematorium as social distancing rules are followed.

In a statement last week, it was stated: “Following the announcement of unsupervised cremations, faith groups and the council have confirmed that they will offer a ministry of faith present in the crematorium to perform the surrender of the body according to the relevant religious rites, and that celebrants or unites Minister can read your words during private cremation and this is recorded for families.

“The immediate family may want to visit the York Crematorium and stay outside to show their respect, much like Fulford Cemetery, while following official guidelines on social distance.

Twitter. . . and another published on social media by Caz Pinder

"The City of York Council will ensure that all families are offered reminder services at the York Crematorium if the restrictions are lifted and a city-wide, multi-faith commemoration is held, supported by local faith leaders and the council."

The Archdeacon of York, the Ven. Sam Rushton said: “In this difficult and painful time, as church leaders, we strive to work closely with our colleagues in the York Crematorium to ensure that we can offer the deceased an appropriate tribute and as much comfort as we are within the current constraints able to grieve those who grieve for a loved one.

“We know how important a funeral is for mourners to help them find a sense of peace amid their dark times, but we also know how important it is to protect families and friends, as well as crematorium workers, from harm. ”

Funeral directors have also encouraged people to show respect to the dead by pausing, taking off hats, or bowing their heads when hearses come by.

Of the nearly two million people who tested positive for the corona virus worldwide, more than 120,000 people have died. A quarter of the reported cases are in the United States (584,073).

LUCA ROSSETTI, COURTESY SUGAR SRL, DECCA RECORDSSolo appearance: the Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli in front of the Milan Cathedral, in which he sang on Easter Day. There was no audience, but a live stream on YouTube was viewed by a record number: more than 2.7 million people

The presiding bishop of Episcopal Church in the United States, the most revered Michael Curry, said in his video address on Easter Day: “This first Easter was Easter, but nobody knew it. . . Mary and these women got up in the dark and didn't know exactly what was going on. They only did what love does. Love cannot change the fact of death, but love can live through it and thereby conquer death. . .

"It was really Easter. Jesus really lived. God had been behind the scenes somehow the whole time and worked through the chaos. They just didn't know it. "

Virtual services were broadcast live around the Anglican community on Easter morning. The Secretary General of the Communion, Rt. Rev. Dr. Josiah Idowu-Fearon, led a service in the gardens of the Lambeth Palace.

The sermon was recorded in the gardens of Canterbury Cathedral by the dear, dear Robert Willis. He said: “This cathedral is a great connection in our community. We pray for each province every day according to our calendar and in this time of terrible crisis for all of humanity in our world we are more than particularly interested in sending our services to the whole world. . .

"Our hearts and thoughts are full of prayers and sadness for those who suffer so much from this corona virus."

PAExhaustive: People in parked cars hear a sermon from a stage at an Easter Monday service in a meadow in North Rhine-Westphalia

Later on Sunday the Dean welcomed a "virtual pilgrim", Tim Gee, to the cathedral via video link. Mr. Gee had walked the 83 mile pilgrimage from Peckham every day for 20 minutes on his manual treadmill for two weeks.

He said on Tuesday: "It was a pretty spiritual experience – something definitely happened to me that I'm still working on. In a broader sense, it was an expression of the belief that peace work is not just about peace and war, but about fighting all forms of violence in society. "

Mr. Gee has raised nearly £ 1,500 for Latin American Women's Aid, which supports Latin American women in London who are caught in abusive relationships and are therefore particularly vulnerable during the closure.

Dean Willis said, “Tim, these are exceptional circumstances, and as our queen said in her latest show, 'We'll see each other again. & # 39; And I hope we will meet physically here so that I can shake your hand and really congratulate you. "

Church valuables moved. The Diocese of London confirmed this week that valuable items from some of the more than 400 churches in London were "taken to a number of safe places" in the event of looting, including the Tower of London.

A diocese spokesman said, “This is to ensure their security outside of our churches while the church buildings are closed. The focus of the operation was on preserving and protecting the heritage, as London's priests and churches act as administrators of much of the capital's rich history. "

The operation was carried out by the diocesan community team and an independent restorer over several days to ensure that everything was properly logged before being carefully packed in boxes and transported by a number of vehicles before being brought to safe locations.

“Not all items could be fully rated because some are so rare and unusual. Even London's priests don't know exactly where items from their churches are kept for safe keeping. The authorities, including the police, were informed of the operation and the diocese ensured that current social detachment measures were maintained. "

A water company has asked the churches to contact their water traders to negotiate a discounted tariff during the closure. Castle Water, which has more than 5,000 churches and halls in its books, said that water traders could lower and, in some cases, completely stop watering churches and businesses that were temporarily closed due to Covid-19.

The manager, John Reynolds, said on Tuesday: "We recognize that water bills for churches are usually not high, but we want to make sure that we don't ask for more than we need." OFWAT has put in place very strict rules for exemptions during the temporary closure, and many churches may not know that they need to confirm to their water dealer that they are temporarily closed. "

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