A message from Bishop Christopher says:  ‘I write, first, to thank you all for your hard work, flexibility and imagination in sustaining parish life in such innovative as well as traditional ways during the last three months of lockdown. Though this letter is addressed to leaders, lay and ordained, I ask you to pass my thanks and admiration to all those who have worked with them. The range of commitment is great – from sophisticated technology to deep cleaning, from security checking to funeral ministry in desperate circumstances.

As I have said before, we are now entering an even more challenging phase. The demands of the next few weeks, and the continuing task of meeting the priorities of people’s health and well-being with their (and our) impatience and frustration with the restrictions in place, will be considerable. We shall all need enormous pastoral sensitivity and, holding the complexities of the situation, seek to be patient with each other, particularly when our own preference cannot be achieved.  I, with Archdeacons Gavin, Jenny and Peter and other colleagues, will do our best to help as needed but – rightly – many of the decisions need to be taken within the guidance and regulations by you in your local parish context.

With this letter comes a considerable suite of advice about public worship. Much of it is hard reading, both because of its detail, but more significantly because it enables us to resume worship only in a very restricted way, and this situation – perhaps with modest easing if that proves possible - is likely to continue for a protracted period.’

As Bishop Christopher has alluded, there is much to be done before our churches can open safely for public worship and what can be offered is not going to be the type of service we had
before the lockdown.  As has been said on a number of occasions
there will be no singing for the foreseeable future.
The PCC’s will continue to work towards reopening the churches for public worship but can only take that step when they can do so safely.