Bulletin no.35 - Saturday 19 December
3 weeks, 6 days ago
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
You will now be aware that London, and much of the south east, will be in Tier 4 from tomorrow, Sunday, for the immediate and foreseeable future. This means that we must not leave or be outside of our homes except for where we have a specific purpose, and that may include public worship, which is permitted to continue under Tier 4. However, meeting together in a bubble of three households over Christmas is no longer to be permitted. See updated Tier 4 guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-4-stay-at-home
Tier 4 and Implications for Daily Life and Public Worship
The following statement has been issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London:
“The news of fresh restrictions in many areas will be a bitter blow," they said.
“For many people, it will mean spending Christmas Day alone. None of us has experienced a situation quite like it in our lifetimes.
“We note the rise in infections and hospitalisations with real concern. But we also know that there is real hope. We are nearer the end of this than the beginning, with a vaccine already being made available and treatments improving.
“We recognise the increased risk we face from the coronavirus - which has already taken so many lives and has now developed a new, more easily transmissible, strain - and we recognise our duty to look out for our neighbours and protect the vulnerable.
“So, as many of us enter these new restrictions, we must commit ourselves more than ever to looking out for those who are alone, to caring for those in need and to praying for our nation and world.
“We know that public worship – both in person and through remote means – has brought comfort, hope and inspiration to so many.
“So we are grateful that, even in tier four, church buildings can be open this Christmas. But I urge everyone to take precautions and, especially for those in tier four, to be exceptionally careful.
“Even though attending public worship is permitted, many people may feel it is currently better they do not do so. Clergy and others who are shielding should certainly feel no compulsion.
“At this time of year - even this year - we celebrate the birth of Jesus with joy and hope. Jesus came to bring light that shines in the darkness.
“We need that light now and always.”
Bishop Christopher says:
“These new restrictions will greatly impact on our daily life throughout the Diocese. I endorse the statement from Archbishop Justin and Bishop Sarah fully but encourage everyone, however, not to be anxious.
Please remember at all times to take the necessary precautions and if clergy feel they cannot conduct services for whatever reason or need to change arrangements for public worship, please talk with your Archdeacon. It would be helpful, if you are able to stream services, to advertise this widely and the Cathedral will endeavour to stream as much as possible. The Diocese has already sent out details of the sermon I have pre-recorded for Advent 4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyUTUwYflVQ.
We continue to hold on to strong hope as we complete our journey through Advent and prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ. Christmas will indeed be very different this year but if we attune our hearts we will hear the angels singing ‘Glory to God in the highest’. It is even more important than ever as we enter into this new tier that we are especially attentive to those who are on their own, isolated or in any particular need. May The Lord be our guide as we put our trust in Him.”
Services streamed from the Cathedral
- Morning Prayer daily at 9am (Sunday 8.30am)
- Night Prayer daily at 8pm
- Cathedral Carol Service Sunday 20 at 6.00pm
- Midnight Mass Thursday 24 at 8.30pm
- Choral Eucharist for Christmas Day at 11.00am
- First Sunday after Christmas 27 Dec at 11.00am
The Coronavirus Task Group
(Bishop Christopher, the Very Revd Andrew Nunn, the Venerable Alastair Cutting, Ruth Martin and Sophia Jones)