Weekly News from the Diocese

Daily Update from Bishop Cherry
8th April 2020
Guidance and advice from government has slowed down recently, though there are still questions being asked about funerals and what is permissible as we continue in ‘lockdown’. As soon as anything further comes from either the government or the Bench of Bishops, we will pass that on.
 
In the meantime, I have been reflecting on an interesting beginning to my ministry here as your bishop. There are many things that I would have liked to have done that have simply not been possible. One of them, of course, being the Chrism Mass that would have taken place in our Cathedral yesterday morning. It is a service that I have always found very moving as the ordained and licensed lay ministers come together to re-affirm our vows and our commitment to our calling. It would have been wonderful to have gathered at St Woolos’ yesterday in prayer and worship, in love and support for one another, and to celebrate the sacrament which binds us together as sisters and brothers in Christ. But it was not to be; at least in this Holy Week.
 
Instead, I want to take this opportunity to assure you all of my prayers and to thank you for all that you are doing to maintain the worshipping life of the church, its pastoral care and its support of the weak, vulnerable and isolated. As I have spoken with clergy on the telephone over these past few weeks, I have been immensely heartened by the resilience, the creativity and the determination of all our ministers to help us all stay connected – with God, with the church family and with the local community.
 
I am also grateful for your prayers for me and for Wendy. This is not how I envisaged exercising my ministry amongst you in these first months of my episcopate and many of you have shown a real understanding of how strange this must feel. Whilst that is true, I have no doubt whatsoever that God is using this time as God always does; to draw us all more deeply into his love and to show us more clearly what his purposes are. Spending time talking with clergy on the telephone (and if I’ve not got round to you yet, be assured that I will) has been a great blessing and encouragement to me. Having time to reflect, perhaps more deeply than I would otherwise have done, is an opportunity to listen to what the Spirit is saying; not just to me, but to God’s church. God is preparing us for the work that needs to be done, whenever it is that life returns to some form of ‘normality’.  
 
As we enter the holiest days of our Christian year, may God bless us, our diocese and the church we serve.