Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The days ahead present many challenges for us as a world and nation, as families and as individuals. Yet, through all the toils, dangers and snares of our past, the Lord has been faithful and we trust, as generations before us, that He continues to be our rock and refuge and that nothing can separate us from His love (‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever’ - Hebrews 13.8).
Given the nature of the Pandemic, however, meeting together presents such risk as to make it inadvisable. The Archbishops have suspended public acts of worship, but please be assured that the clergy of the Cathedral continue to break bread and say the prayers of the Church on your behalf.
We all, however, must remain fervent in prayer and in service to the Lord, even if we are isolated at home. Practically, this may mean staying in touch with friends and, if we are able, supporting those who need our help in practical ways.
You will find here some resources, alongside your own prayer books, to pray for others as well as yourselves, not least those who are sick and those who minister to them.
In the Prayer Book, provision is also made for people to make a ‘Spiritual Communion’ if, by virtue of circumstance, they are denied access to the Sacrament; and we include a form of prayer for such an act in this booklet.
Public worship and other provision will also continue to be broadcast on the BBC:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006wzfs (The Daily Service)
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006tp7r (Choral Evensong)
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00szxv6 (Thought for the Day)
and details of online streaming of church services and other ways of joining others in prayer online are being developed on the Church of England’s website: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-churches
Do keep looking at the Cathedral website (www.chichestercathedral.org.uk) as we may, in due course, be streaming services and offering weekly reflections online to stay in touch with you all.
Do remain in touch, letting us know of your prayer needs (email email@example.com) or if you’d like regular pastoral contact. Until such time as we gather again, we commend to you God’s gracious keeping:
UNTO God’s gracious mercy and protection we commit you. The Lord bless you, and keep you. The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace, both now and evermore. Amen.
Very Revd Stephen Waine
Canon Tim Schofield
Canon Dan Inman