Prolocutors defend the choice to shut church buildings

Prolocutors defend the choice to shut church buildings

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The clergy must accept the episcopal order to keep the churches closed – also for their own private prayer – to save lives threatened by the coronavirus, the clerics of the Provinces of Canterbury and York said.

In a letter to all clergymen on Tuesday, Canon Simon Butler (Canterbury) and Canon Chris Newlands (York) state that, because of their position, they are entitled to "criticize some decisions and guidelines of the church hierarchy," in these unprecedented times, We would like to offer our full and clear support to our archbishops and bishops. "

The decision to close all churches, including for private prayer and incumbent use, has angered some clergymen. The archdeacon of Hastings in the Diocese of Chichester, the Ven. Dr. Edward Dowler wrote this week in the Church Times online that the statement "surprisingly goes beyond the government’s current restrictions." He argues that switching off churches is impractical and can damage the "spiritual and spiritual wellbeing" of the clergy. His concerns were shared by many newspaper correspondents this week.

Canon Butler and Canon Newlands say that these arguments have already been taken into account: “We have been informed about some of the broader reasons for the closure of our cathedrals, churches and chapels, which we accept that some of you are angry and at a loss.

“However, we believe that it is right to accept and trust our bishops and archbishops on this matter. You don't make these decisions lightly. In our opinion, the points raised by those concerned were part of their considerations when making this decision. "

The security of clergy and laity is more important than legal disputes, they write. “It is not time to argue about whether bishops have a legal right to do so or additional demands on our archbishops as they try to guide our corona virus response with other faith leaders and support the government in its work .

“We just have to set a good example by staying in our homes and showing that we can stay at home, even if we lead worship for the people in our care. Every journey we make outside our home endangers life: ours, that of our family, even complete strangers. Such trips should only be undertaken for essential service. "

In an article published on Wednesday, the London College of Bishops suggested that "some parish churches would like to temporarily suspend the celebration of Holy Communion until they can meet again in person."

If a priest wants to continue the Eucharist alone (i.e. when there is no one in his household), it should be broadcast live if possible. "If at least this is not possible, this should be clearly announced in the congregation and in the congregation if holy communion is to be celebrated in the priest's house with or without the presence of another member of this household. ”

Rev. Sarah Mullaly, Bishop of London, made a letter to the clergy in their diocese on Wednesday.

“In accordance with the Canon B40 regulations, I, Sarah, Bishop of London, give blanket permission to priests to“ celebrate Holy Communion elsewhere than in a consecrated building ”and do so in their rectory. This is to facilitate the live streaming of Holy Communion services from the rectory. This provision applies until May 31 and can be renewed if necessary.

“In addition, I, Sarah, Bishop of London, hereby waive Canon B15's request that those who are confirmed receive Holy Communion at Easter because those who are confirmed will not be able to celebrate their Easter Communion this year except through spiritual service Community and Pentecost. "

In an interview with the Church Times earlier this week, C of E chief physician Brendan McCarthy praised the church's response. “There has been a great pooling of minds, resources and energies both within the Church and in society as a whole, with the ego taking a back seat. . . Ecclesiastics who worship at home show their identification with people who live under the necessary restriction that they cannot go to their parish church. "

His concern, however, was that "when the epidemic climaxes, there is pressure to loosen the restrictions too early, leading to a second increase in infections and deaths."

Imperial College London research suggests that Covid-19 kills people in the 70s 170 times more often than people in the 20s. The latest statistics from the Church of England Department of Ministries suggest that 42 percent of rural church communities are over 70 years old compared to 28 percent of people in urban church communities.

PERSHORE ABBEYPershore Abbey Embroidery Guild members make cloth bags that nurses can use to take used uniforms home for washing to minimize the risk of infection – the bags can also be washed

The Church's National Land Commissioner, Rev. Dr. Mark Betson, and Arthur Rank Center chief executive Rev. Claire Maxim, assessed the impact on rural churches.

They said on Tuesday, “These statistics make it all too clear that rural churches are likely to be severely affected by the virus and that many people will isolate themselves. Every church has a role to play, not only in providing the excellent praying, practical, and contextual responses we've seen, but also in sharing clear, reliable information with people who are alone, insecure, and fearful. "

There were currently no central records of local support groups. The exchange of information is therefore vital, they said. “Our plea is that church leaders will work with local groups, if they are not already, to get the support they offer to those who need them most. There has never been a more important time to build church partnerships so that people in the church can be loved by others the way they want to be loved. "

The prolocutors write that many retired clergymen who are allowed to serve are also over 70 years old and are therefore vulnerable themselves and need pastoral care. Clerics would also have to hold funerals, of which there would likely be an increased number in the coming months.

"This ministry will take its toll," they write. “There will be colleagues, friends, community members and even family members who will die. We have to be resilient and find strength in our daily prayers. "

The Inter Faith Network has asked faith leaders and communities to “sensitive” to funeral arrangements as the number of pandemic deaths increases. In a statement on Tuesday, the forum's co-chairs and moderators said, “We hope that the deaths of people of different faiths and beliefs will be handled sensitively and that there will be no friction about agreements. It is important that this matter is treated well. "

They were worried that prejudice would increase as a result of isolation. “We are concerned that some individuals may be increasingly isolated from misinformation, especially on social media, and also from extreme views, including coronavirus conspiracy theories, that target groups such as Jews or East Asians. We urge the government and relevant authorities to do everything possible to tackle this. "

As of Thursday, there were over 34,100 cases of Covid-19 in the UK, of which 2926 had died, including a 13-year-old boy. The highest number of reported cases worldwide is currently in the United States (216,768). UK infections are increasing by the thousands every day. In the United States, the increase is tens of thousands a day.

Christian charities have launched emergency calls for donations to help the most vulnerable at home and abroad. In the UK, the children's society collects donations to protect children who are “caught at home” in difficult, sometimes abusive situations without support.

One of the frontline staff, Becky, said: “If a child is in imminent danger, we can arrange an emergency response. We are the only workers who do this for some young people. “This can include providing care packages, providing urgent support and advice, or in some cases organizing an emergency response for children in immediate danger.

Children's director, Mark Russell, said: “Coronavirus is a threat to our health and normal lifestyle, but it is also an indirect threat to children who are already at risk. It is extremely important that these children are not forgotten and that our practitioners can support them as much as possible. "

The charity, like many others in the UK, is struggling to raise funds as part of the ban (News, March 27). “We are facing a significant drop in income as we have to cancel fundraisers and temporarily close our businesses. We need the public to support our emergency call so that we can continue to support children in need. "

DIOCESE EXETERSam Rylands (right), a prospective Bristol priest who attended the Christian Melanesion Brotherhood in the Solomon Islands, was stranded after the flights were canceled

Christian Aid said it would prioritize the poorest countries and marginalized communities, which it said would carry "the brunt" of the pandemic. Without immediate intervention, areas already suffering from humanitarian crises, ongoing conflicts, poor health care and poor basic hygiene would find it difficult to deal with.

Aid agency director Nick Guttmann said: “Many local and national health facilities do not have optimal measures to prevent and fight infection, due in part to the lack of water and sanitation. Other humanitarian needs may also arise due to the excessive pressure on these overburdened health systems, which is weighing on other important services such as education. "

Christian Aid and other international aid organizations have also expressed concern about migrant communities, particularly those living in poor conditions in refugee camps around the world (News, March 27). Their calls for support to these communities have been confirmed by both Roman Catholic leaders in the United States and the Geneva Council for Rights and Freedoms.

A coalition of Roman Catholic organizations in the country, including MRS, the Catholic Health Association and Catholic Charities, wrote in a letter to the Department of Homeland Security: "During this global pandemic and the national emergency, access to treatment and care for immigrants, inclusion of undocumented people is vital to the persecution and response to the crisis. Removing obstacles to testing and treatment not only saves lives, it also protects all Americans. "

In the meantime, the Geneva Council has written to the World Health Organization (WHO) calling for measures to combat poor treatment for migrant workers around the world, many of whom have no access to adequate health care.

“Tokyo 2020 has already received considerable criticism of the treatment of migrant workers. Expo 2020, which will take place in the United Arab Emirates, follows a similar pattern of strong dependency on migrant workers, but has not been called for bad practices and discriminatory treatment of migrant workers. "

Last week, the Japanese Prime Minister confirmed that the Tokyo Olympics were postponed for 12 months. The Geneva Council expressed concern that work on the Expo facilities continued, although more positive cases were confirmed in the country.

“Migrant workers in the UAE and elsewhere are a vulnerable group with limited access to health care and poor living conditions, including in cramped, crowded, or inferior housing. We believe that they should not be treated differently from other groups and more needs to be done to protect them from the risk of coronavirus infection. "

The new general synod can be postponed. Last week, the government approved a new clause in its emergency corona virus bill that allows the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to postpone the General Synod elections and extend the current Synod's term beyond July.

The Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous, said that House of Commons: “There is no legal authority to extend the current general synod. The new clause 1 provides for this power by allowing the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to ask Her Majesty to postpone the date of dissolution by a decision in the Council. "

Sing for the resurrection. The public was invited to clap the NHS from their windows and balconies on Thursday last week. On Easter Day, the churches in Britain and Ireland, as well as the Northumbria community, ask Christians to sing for the resurrection.

The organizers said: "Because Christians will not be able to worship in churches this year, Sing Resurrection instead invites them to step out of their doors or into their gardens and sing:" Jesus Christ rose again today " and "Your be the glory". on Easter Sunday at 10 a.m. "

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