An update from Bishop Cherry – 26th March

New ways of working

The Bishop’s Senior Staff Team continue to meet, but via Zoom and not in person. We are keen to offer as much pastoral care and support as is possible in these very restrictive circumstances and to encourage everyone to do what they can to stay connected to one another. Please keep us informed of any illness or bereavement that you think we should know about so that we can hold those most in need in our prayers.

Live-streamed Eucharists

I am immensely heartened by the resilience and creativity of our clergy who are using all means possible to support people in their prayer and worship. Many, I know, have been live-streaming acts of worship, including the Eucharist. Following the latest guidance, most, if not all, will now be doing that alone from within their own homes.

I too will be celebrating the Eucharist from the chapel at Bishopstow on Sunday at 10.30am and invite you to join me either live on Facebook or via the recorded service that you can access on the website. Details will be sent out in the Friday mailing

The Bench of Bishops met yesterday on Skype and discussed, amongst other things:

Easter Vestries

Easter Vestries are to be suspended until they can take place safely. Those currently in post as churchwardens, PCC members and parish representatives will continue in post until that time. If, for any reason, someone is unable or unwilling to continue in post, then it will fall to each Bishop to appoint to the vacant post.

Discernment Panels

We are very mindful of those candidates exploring ordained or licenced ministry whose discernment panels have been postponed. Whilst we cannot predict when gathering and meetings are going to be allowed to take place again, we are committed to ensuring that people who are waiting to have their vocations tested in this way should not have to wait any longer than is absolutely necessary. We will be working with St Padarn’s training institution to make sure that training also begins as soon as possible for those whose vocations are confirmed.

Ordinations

It is almost certain that the ordination services planned for the end of June will not now take place then. The bishops are discussing a number of options with the legal team and our current deacons waiting to be priested and those preparing to be ordained deacon will kept informed of any decisions that are taken.

Every blessing

+Cherry