Posted on the 1st Apr 2020 in the category Statements


At this time of national emergency, we remain acutely aware that the needs of those directly affected by the Coronavirus, and the necessity to limit the risk of infection, make a legitimate demand on our behaviour. As the nation suffers and grieves, let us be constant in prayer and in our public duty to stay home, protect the NHS, save lives.

 

The sense of loss we all feel from the necessary closure of our churches for public worship is heightened as we approach the most important week of the Church’s year, Holy Week. Nevertheless, there are spiritual benefits which can and will flow to us from a faithful observance of Holy Week in our homes. We should be diligent in our reading of scripture and in our recitation of the Church’s cycle of prayer. To supplement these activities, there is a growing body of liturgical resources available digitally.

 

For our own part, we shall be issuing a series of short videos to aid devotion and prayer at home during Holy Week. They have been professionally produced and, we hope, will be attractive to a wide audience. The videos will be made available at the following times here.

  • Palm Sunday at 8am.

  • Maundy Thursday at 3pm.

  • Good Friday at 12pm.

  • Easter Day at 8am.

 

The first verse of Psalm 130 speaks to our current circumstances: “Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord.” May we urge a prayerful keeping of Holy Week as we look with confidence to the joyful celebration of Easter in our homes.

 

 

+ TONY WAKEFIELD

 

The Rt Revd Tony Robinson, Bishop of Wakefield,

Chairman of The Society’s Council of Bishops

+ GLYN BEVERLEY

The Rt Revd Glyn Webster, Bishop of Beverley

+ PHILIP BURNLEY

The Rt Revd Philip North, Bishop of Burnley

+ MARTIN CICESTR: 

The Rt Revd Martin Warner, Bishop of Chichester

+ JONATHAN EBBSFLEET

The Rt Revd Jonathan Goodall, Bishop of Ebbsfleet

+ JONATHAN FULHAM

The Rt Revd Jonathan Baker, Bishop of Fulham

+ NORMAN RICHBOROUGH      

The Rt Revd Norman Banks, Bishop of Richborough

 

 

The videos were recorded in the Diocese of London in accordance with the restrictions which were in place at that time.

Photo Credit: George Reynolds

 

 

   



Posted on the 19th Mar 2020 in the category Statements


 

Feast of St Joseph 

 

Our first concern as bishops is to express our concern and promise our prayers for all those who are directly affected by the Coronavirus, particularly those who by age or health condition are especially vulnerable. 

 

Alongside the priests of The Society, we shall continue to support those most in need through the on-going witness of our parishes.

 

The key sources of information on Coronavirus remain:

www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-churches


These official statements, and the recent letter from our Archbishops, should be read alongside this pastoral statement.     

 

As a necessary step, and in keeping with the Archbishops’ advice to suspend public worship, we are cancelling the Chrism Masses due to be celebrated by the Bishops of The Society.

 

This does not mean that the spiritual benefits that flow from the great liturgies of Holy Week cannot be obtained through other means.

 

We are aware that many cathedrals, parish churches and other religious buildings will remain open for prayer – noting the need for the safe practicing of not less than two metres physical distancing – and that some will also be seeking to place devotional material on-line during this period, or even live-stream liturgies conducted in private.

 

For our own part, we shall look to issue four short devotional videos during this period: one for each of Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter. We hope that these videos will provide a focus for our common prayers at this testing time. Other appropriate devotional resources will be made available here.

 

We are acutely aware of the pain and anxiety many are experiencing, made all the more testing by the suspension of public worship at this the high point of the Church’s year. We urge all parishes in our care—and indeed, all Christians—to continue in these, and other, ways to continue to participate in the Church’s prayer and witness in the testing months which lie ahead for everyone.

 

+ TONY WAKEFIELD               The Rt Revd Tony Robinson, Bishop of Wakefield, Chairman

+ GLYN BEVERLEY                 The Rt Revd Glyn Webster, Bishop of Beverley

+ PHILIP BURNLEY                 The Rt Revd Philip North, Bishop of Burnley

+ MARTIN CICESTR:               The Rt Revd Martin Warner, Bishop of Chichester

+ JONATHAN EBBSFLEET      The Rt Revd Jonathan Goodall, Bishop of Ebbsfleet

+ JONATHAN FULHAM            The Rt Revd Jonathan Baker, Bishop of Fulham

+ NORMAN RICHBOROUGH   The Rt Revd Norman Banks, Bishop of Richborough



Posted on the 27th Nov 2019 in the category Statements



Conscious that the issue of abortion is under renewed discussion, we reaffirm our adherence to the Church of England’s longstanding commitments on this issue. 

 

We pledge ourselves to oppose any legislation involving further liberalization of the law in respect of abortion that may be introduced by any future UK government.

 

We invite all Christians preparing to cast their vote in the forthcoming General Election to reflect on all issues which touch on the dignity and well-being of the human person. Furthermore we advise that parishes and individual Christians take the initiative of asking any of their parliamentary candidates what their view is on this issue and how they would vote if legislation came before the Commons.

 

+ TONY WAKEFIELD               The Rt Revd Tony Robinson, Bishop of Wakefield, Chairman

+ GLYN BEVERLEY                 The Rt Revd Glyn Webster, Bishop of Beverley

+ PHILIP BURNLEY                 The Rt Revd Philip North, Bishop of Burnley

+ MARTIN CICESTR:               The Rt Revd Martin Warner, Bishop of Chichester

+ JONATHAN EBBSFLEET      The Rt Revd Jonathan Goodall, Bishop of Ebbsfleet

+ JONATHAN FULHAM            The Rt Revd Jonathan Baker, Bishop of Fulham

+ NORMAN RICHBOROUGH   The Rt Revd Norman Banks, Bishop of Richborough



Posted on the 8th Mar 2019 in the category Statements



The Council of Bishops has issued a Pastoral Letter, which the bishops invite the clergy to read, and make available, in their churches on Sunday 10 March 2019.

 

Pastoral Letter, Lent 2019




Posted on the 17th Dec 2018 in the category Statements


We are grateful to the House of Bishops for the clear pastoral concern shown in its recent Pastoral Guidance issued regarding the Affirmation of Baptismal Faith in the context of gender transition.

 

At the same time, we note concerns that have been expressed about the Pastoral Guidance. Among these is the concern that the Guidance could result in clergy being placed under pressure to conduct services that would raise issues of conscience for them.

 

We shall be asking for the reception of this Pastoral Guidance to be reviewed. 

 

+ TONY WAKEFIELD

The Rt Revd Tony Robinson

Chairman of the Council of Bishops



 

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