Pastoral message from the Bishop of Truro and the Bishop of St Germans

We recognise that this is a worrying time for many with COVID-19 cases on the rise again. It’s also an anxious time as we try to work out what we can and can’t do in a situation that seems to be ever-changing.

Having looked at the latest government guidance we are confident that we can carry on with the arrangements that we have established for Sunday worship over the last few weeks and we encourage you to do so. We are convinced that the procedures we have established are safe and ensuring community of worship is important and valuable for us all. The only difference is that people must not sit in groups of more than six, but on our recent experience that is rarely happening anyway – if at all.

Many if not all our churches are facing their annual meetings. We are still unclear whether these could take place in churches or church halls or not, but we think on balance this is unlikely given that the potential electorate for the election of Churchwardens is anyone physically living in the parish. For that reason Bishop Philip will be issuing an instrument allowing them to take place virtually and you should assume that this will be how they happen. To help with that over the next few days we will be issuing guidelines as to how the meetings should be conducted, as well as offering training from Church House staff in the technology needed.

Happily our ordinations will still happen as planned at the end of next week and we do encourage you to pray for our wonderful ordinands.

We continue to be very grateful and full of admiration for the dedication, resourcefulness and commitment you have shown over the last months. Please know that you do not face these challenges alone. And don’t forget the ‘Diocese of Truro – let’s share best practice and support one another!’ Facebook page. If you’ve not yet joined it please consider doing so: it’s a great source of encouragement (and poetry, and jokes….). We will be providing updated guidance once it is available. You can view the current Covid-19 guidance on the diocesan website here.

Finally, to return to the beginning, we recognise again that levels of anxiety are rising once again, and the tiredness many feel is real. So we close with these wonderful words of St. Paul to the Philippians:

Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

That is certainly our prayer for you all.

With our love, in Christ.

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