A Joint Statement from the World Council of Churches and Regional Ecumenical Organizations
26 March 2020
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…who
consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console
those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we
ourselves are consoled by God.
(2 Cor. 1:3-4)
As representatives of Regional Ecumenical Organizations and the World Council of Churches, we share the challenges that our communities around the world are facing due to the coronavirus, COVID-19.
We urge people everywhere to give highest priority to addressing this situation and assisting in whatever ways we can in our collective efforts to protect life. This is a time to touch each other’s hearts, by what we say, share, and do – and by what we are unable to do—to protect the life that God created out of love.
For the sake of that love, it is important and urgent that we adapt our modes of worship and fellowship to the needs of this time of pandemic infection, in order to avoid the risk of becoming sources of viral transmission rather than means of grace.
Our faith in the God of life compels us to protect life by doing all that we can to avoid transmitting this virus. Let us manifest God’s unconditional love in safe, practical ways that protect life, alleviate suffering, and ensure that churches and public services do not become hubs of transmission of the virus.
Physical distancing does not mean spiritual isolation. This is an opportune time for the churches all over the world to review their role in society by safely ministering to, providing for, and caring for the poor, the sick, the marginalized, and the aged –all those who are most at risk due to COVID-19.
People in many parts of the world have become homebound these days. Being homebound does not mean that we cannot experience a deep spiritual solidarity with each other, by virtue of our baptism into the one body of Christ. We can pray at home. We can give thanks to God and pray for strength, healing, and courage. We can show our love for God and our neighbour by not gathering in person for public worship. Many congregations can share their worship gatherings online or digitally. Members and pastors can also stay in touch with each other and provide pastoral care by telephone.
The novel coronavirus pandemic has reached all the regions of our planet. There are fear and panic, pain and suffering, doubt and misinformation, about both the virus and our response as Christians. Yet as a global community of faith, we affirm that, even in the midst of our vulnerability, we trust in God as God is our hope.
Amid stories of suffering and tragedy, there are also stories of simple kindness and extravagant love, of solidarity and the sharing of hope and peace in innovative and surprising ways.
During this Lenten season, our pilgrimage takes us through the desert of hardships, difficulties, and temptations, from death to resurrection, into a new life with God.
This desert is made more hostile and fearful by COVID-19, but we are called to join our hearts in solidarity with each other, to mourn with those who mourn, to share peace with those who are anxious, and to restore hope through solidarity in faith.
That human solidarity is eroded and anxiety is heightened when we are in panic and concentrate on shopping and hoarding the basics. In so doing, we fail to be instruments of God’s grace in this season.
We recognize the need for responsible leadership by the state, communities, and faith leaders alike. Governments at all levels must ensure access to correct and timely information, address the situations due to loss of livelihood and employment, especially to provide access to clean water and sanitizers and soap, to safe shelter, and to compassionate care for the most vulnerable, while aware that some of these remain challenges for many across the globe. This is also a time for profound reflection on the common good, good governance, and ethical values rooted in our traditions.
In the midst of this grave crisis, we lift up our prayers for those providing leadership and for governments around the world, urging them to give priority concern to those who live in poverty, as well as to the marginalized and refugees living in our midst.
As religious leaders, we raise our collective voices to highlight the necessity for greater attention to the needs of the homeless, the incarcerated, the elderly and those already suffering from social isolation. We remember, too, those people, especially women and children, who face abuse and violence, who are not safe at home and may suffer additional abuse and violence as stress increases.
Finally, let us continue to pray for those infected with COVID-19, for their families, and for the medical staff and health workers who risk their lives to provide treatment and prevention for us. And let us pray also for public health officials, who, we hope, will be able, with God’s help and our cooperation, to contain the spread of the virus and prevent grave social, economic, and environmental consequences.
God’s love is all-embracing, and the God of life is with each of us, even in our suffering.
26 March, 2020
Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary, World Council of Churches
Dr Souraya Bechealany, General Secretary, Middle East Council of Churches
Rev. James Bhagwan, General Secretary, Pacific Conference of Churches
Dr Mathews George Chunakara, General Secretary, Christian Conference of Asia
Gerard Granado – General Secretary, Caribbean Conference of Churches
Rev. Dr Fidon Mwombeki, General Secretary, All Africa Conference of Churches
Pastor Peter Noteboom, General Secretary, Canadian Council of Churches
Dr. Jørgen Skov Sørensen, General Secretary, Conference of European Churches
Jim Winkler, General Secretary, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA
additions/corrections? please email us
These are links to publicly-accessible collections of services, mostly YouTube channels. Many churches are streaming services via Zoom or Facebook, for which you may need separate links for each service – these may be distributed by email, so contact your local church to see what’s available.
Penwith: Penzance/St Just/St Ives
Carrick: Truro/Falmouth/Penryn/St Agnes
St Agnes area
Atlantic Coast Cluster Telephone dial-in service: 01872 308750
All Saints Church Highertown Telephone dial-in service: 01872 306996
Restormel: St Austell/Fowey/Newquay
St Austell area
North Cornwall: Bodmin/Wadebridge/Launceston/Bude
The Archbishops and Bishops of the Church of England have urged everyone to follow the instructions given by the Prime Minister to stay in their homes in a national effort to limit the transmission of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
But they called on the Church to “continue to pray, to love, to care for the vulnerable”.
It follows the announcement by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson of sweeping restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.
It means all Church of England churches will close with immediate effect in line with the Government’s instructions. There will also be no Church weddings or baptisms.
Funerals at the graveside or in crematoriums can still take place, but only in line with the Prime minister’s Statement.
In a joint statement the bishops said: “In the light of the Government’s measures, announced by the Prime Minister this evening, we urge everyone to follow the instructions given.
“We will give a fuller statement of advice as soon as possible. Let us continue to pray, to love, to care for the vulnerable, and build our communities, even while separated.”Read more
a regularly updated page from the World Council of Churches
18 March 2020
The World Council of Churches (WCC), via a specific landing page on its website, is reaching out to the worldwide fellowship with a sense of pastoral care amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The page is available at www.oikoumene.org/corona
In view of the rapid spread of the virus in countries across the world, the page brings together the most essential information on where to find reliable updates on the situation, as well as how the WCC is responding.Read more
Transformation Cornwall have now uploaded the resources from the Meet the Funders main Spring event on their website. The Meet the Funders event, held in partnership with Truro Diocese included presentations from funders including Allchurches Trust Ltd, Laing Family Trusts, Cornwall Historic Churches Trust, The Joseph Rank Trust, National Churches Trust , The National Lottery Community Fund and an opening talk from Dr Tim Jones of Community Energy Plus on ‘The Climate Emergency: How your project can make a difference.’
We have a copy of each of the speaker’s presentations and a link to download a very useful resource document from the day. Please click on the link below:Read more
CTE have a new Facebook page – please like and follow for national news from the churches.Go to page
we regret this event has been CANCELLED due to the current emergency
11 May 2020
In light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and recent updates from the UK Government, it is with great disappointment that the Council of the Royal Cornwall Agricultural Association (RCAA) has announced the cancellation of the 2020 Royal Cornwall Show that had been planned to take place later this year on the 10th,11th and 12th September.
We have left this difficult decision for as long as we feasibly could, having previously postponed the show from June to September, in the hope that it was possible to stage it then. However, with the current conditions on social distancing and possible Government restrictions on large events for the foreseeable future, it is just not possible to host a safe event for all those involved.Read more
Updated 17 March 15:00
It is with sadness that we recommend that worship services in Methodist Churches are suspended for the time being in line with Government guidance. We would encourage people who lead services to think about how worship might be offered in different ways, including online and using worship at home sheets.
During this incredibly difficult time when people might want to spend time in prayer in their Methodist Church. Local trustees should consider whether it is possible to open up their churches to enable people to come and pray or sit quietly, perhaps offering prayer stations as a point of reflection with precautions around physical distancing.
Suspending services means that we advise that baptisms will not take place in public worship and if you have a wedding planned in a Methodist Church you should speak to your minister. While funerals may still take place, we would advise that the number of people attending is limited as per the Government’s advice.
In terms of Church business, we recommend that all meetings including church councils and circuit meetings should be cancelled. Districts chairs will be in touch about Synods. The next meeting of the Methodist Council has been suspended and we will advise on how essential business will be carried out. We will be issuing further advice on this.
Other community activities:
Foodbanks and night shelters: If your church runs a foodbank or night shelter please take notice of all the advice that has been given by the Government and the NHS. If you are concerned about older volunteers we advise that (in line with the guidance) they should stay at home. The Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) have produced a simple guide on how you can support foodbanks during the coronavirus pandemic.
Other community events like lunch clubs, after school clubs, playgroups and fellowship groups should be suspended.
Pastoral visits: in these extraordinary times, pastoral support is incredibly important and it’s likely it may increase but we would advise that you contact people by phone in the first instance to check they are still happy for you to go in person. If you’re visiting a care home or hospital take your guidance from them. You should also be mindful of updated safeguarding guidance which you can find hereRead more
CAP Job Clubs
Your local CAP Job Club will give you practical help as you seek employment. It’s a relaxed environment with the chance to meet other jobseekers, get support and gain the skills you need to find work. Find out more about CAP Job Clubs.
To book your place or find out more, get in touch using the details below.
Falmouth and Penryn
CAP Job Club Coach: Glyn Lumley
This CAP Job Club is run in partnership with
Emmanuel Baptist Church