27th March 2020 (18:21)
As we approach the coming weekend, we are once again facing a Sunday without being able to physically join our local communities. Whilst we know that the Church is not just a series of (now closed) buildings, it is difficult to not be able to pray and participate in services in one place.
However, we have been heartened by the work being done by so many of you to create ways of enabling Christian communities to meet online – whether through celebrating services on Zoom, holding pastoral Skype calls or creating social media prayer resources. Thank you for helping your communities to find ways of encountering God’s love at this most difficult of times.
Today, the Archbishops and Bishops of the Church of England have written to all clergy to offer some suggestions for ways in which we can continue to minister to our communities (paying attention to those with access to the internet, as well as those who do not) at the present time. You can read the letter here and we hope you will find it useful.
Ahead of this weekend, Bishop Tim and his wife Sally have recorded a communion service, which you will be able to view on our Diocesan YouTube channel from Sunday morning. Please do share the link so that we can still join together as one Diocese in prayer even though we cannot see each other in person.
In addition, Winchester Cathedral is hosting a daily video reflection and prayer, which you can access here . Each day you will find a new prayer and reflection from members of the Cathedral community, which we hope you will find helps to provide some spiritual nourishment over the coming days and weeks.
With our prayers for you all,
Bishop Tim, Bishop David and Bishop Debbie
And the Bishop’s Staff Team:
Andrew Robinson, Diocesan Chief Executive
Catherine Ogle, Dean of Winchester
Peter Rouch, Archdeacon of Bournemouth
Richard Brand, Archdeacon of Winchester
Mat Phipps, Bishop’s Chaplain