Corona Virus Update

From Bishop Cherry update 27th March 2020

Services suspended – guidance from the Bench of Bishops

The latest guidance from Church in Wales states all services should be suspended. Download the full guidance here.

Live-streamed Eucharists
I am immensely heartened by the resilience and creativity of our clergy who are using all means possible to support people in their prayer and worship. Many, I know, have been live-streaming acts of worship, including the Eucharist. Following the latest guidance, most, if not all, will now be doing that alone from within their own homes. 
I too will be celebrating the Eucharist from the chapel at Bishopstow on Sunday at 10.30am and invite you to join me either live on Facebook or via the recorded service that you can access on the website. Click here to watch, and click here for the order of serviceRemember that the clocks change this weekend!

Those without internet access
In all the flurry of digital activity that is taking place (and which is wonderful to see), we must not forget those who are not connected to the internet. This will be the majority of the congregation in some of our churches. I hope that we can take as much time and effort in keeping people connected with a regular supply of hard copy resources as we are doing digitally.

EIG Advice on church buildings
Click here to see guidance from Ecclesiastical Insurance for managing temporarily closed churches and other church properties during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Easter Vestries
Easter Vestries are to be suspended until they can take place safely. Those currently in post as churchwardens, PCC members and parish representatives will continue in post until that time. If, for any reason, someone is unable or unwilling to continue in post, then it will fall to each Bishop to appoint to the vacant post.

Easter Offerings and regular giving
This is not an easy time to talk about money, and some may think it inappropriate to do so, but I would be failing in my duty as your bishop if I didn’t make you aware of the significant drop in income our churches are likely to get over the coming weeks and months. Without the regular giving that comes through Sunday collections, many are worried about their churches going bankrupt. If you are able to maintain your regular giving, and give by direct debit if you don’t already do so, that will help enormously and ensure that when this crisis is over our churches will be well placed to continue with their vital work in all the communities of our diocese.
Please also consider making a special offering at Easter in thanksgiving for all that God has done for us in raising Christ from the dead and raising us to new life in him.

Daily Update from Bishop Cherry
26th March 2020
      This email has been sent to all Clergy, PTOs, Churchwardens, Secretaries, and all those on our Friday email list.  
New ways of working
The Bishop’s Senior Staff Team continue to meet, but via Zoom and not in person. We are keen to offer as much pastoral care and support as is possible in these very restrictive circumstances and to encourage everyone to do what they can to stay connected to one another. Please keep us informed of any illness or bereavement that you think we should know about so that we can hold those most in need in our prayers.
 
Live-streamed Eucharists
I am immensely heartened by the resilience and creativity of our clergy who are using all means possible to support people in their prayer and worship. Many, I know, have been live-streaming acts of worship, including the Eucharist. Following the latest guidance, most, if not all, will now be doing that alone from within their own homes.
 
I too will be celebrating the Eucharist from the chapel at Bishopstow on Sunday at 10.30am and invite you to join me either live on Facebook or via the recorded service that you can access on the website. Details will be sent out in the Friday mailing
 
The Bench of Bishops met yesterday on Skype and discussed, amongst other things:
 
Easter Vestries
Easter Vestries are to be suspended until they can take place safely. Those currently in post as churchwardens, PCC members and parish representatives will continue in post until that time. If, for any reason, someone is unable or unwilling to continue in post, then it will fall to each Bishop to appoint to the vacant post.
 
Discernment Panels
We are very mindful of those candidates exploring ordained or licenced ministry whose discernment panels have been postponed. Whilst we cannot predict when gathering and meetings are going to be allowed to take place again, we are committed to ensuring that people who are waiting to have their vocations tested in this way should not have to wait any longer than is absolutely necessary. We will be working with St Padarn’s training institution to make sure that training also begins as soon as possible for those whose vocations are confirmed.
 
Ordinations
It is almost certain that the ordination services planned for the end of June will not now take place then. The bishops are discussing a number of options with the legal team and our current deacons waiting to be priested and those preparing to be ordained deacon will kept informed of any decisions that are taken.
 
Every blessing