Source: The Guardian
By Harriet Sherwood
The Church of England has suspended all services until further notice, saying it must become “a different sort of church in these coming months”.
However, weddings and funerals may still go ahead, a spokesperson said.
The Methodist church and the chief rabbi also suspended services from Tuesday.
In a joint letter to parishes, the archbishops of Canterbury and York said the coronavirus pandemic was a defining moment for the C of E. They said: “Are we truly a church for all, or just the church for ourselves?”
The church must now be “rooted in prayer and serving others”, Justin Welby and John Sentamu said.
The letter said, where practical, churches could remain open as places of prayer for the community, but social-distancing recommendations must be observed. If possible, services should be conducted by clergy and live-streamed.
The archbishops said congregations should still be at the forefront of providing practical care and support for the poor and vulnerable during the crisis.
They wrote: “Our life is going to be less characterised by attendance at church on Sunday, and more characterised by the prayer and service we offer each day … Please do carry on supporting the local food bank and buy extra provisions for it.