90% of Norfolk Anglican churches go online-only
The Bishop of Norwich has said that 90% of churches across the Diocese of Norwich will take their services online-only during the current third national lockdown, despite government regulations allowing them to remain open for public worship.
Speaking to BBC Look East, Bishop Graham Usher said: “Overwhelmingly across the diocese about 90% of churches have moved to online provision. A few still feel that they can meet physically and do that in a very, very safe way. They feel that it is safer than going to the supermarket. So we are taking this day by day, very cautiously and very carefully.
St Stephens in Norwich has moved all of its services online for example but Norwich Cathedral, is still offering both in person and online services.
Bishop Graham also wrote to clergy across the diocese, saying: “Many of us have watched, with growing concern, the rise in the number of those testing positive for Covid-19. The Prime Minister made a very clear statement last night (January 4) about our need to stay at home for the coming weeks.
“Our priority must be to look out for our neighbours and protect the vulnerable. I urge you to be exceptionally careful. I am particularly concerned because public worship brings elderly and vulnerable people together and the new strain of Covid-19 is more infectious.
“Yet, this needs to be balanced with real concerns about isolation, loneliness and mental well-being. We need to be extremely cautious and protect people, whilst also being ministers of hope at this time. For me, loving our neighbours at this time means keeping them safe (even when some are resistant).”
Bishop Graham went on to say that he will back whatever decision local clergy take on the matter.
Read the full letter from Bishop Graham here.
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