Coronovirus Update – June 2021 🗓
To all clergy in the Diocese of Southwark, copied to Lay Ministers, Parish Secretaries, Churchwardens, Deanery Lay Chairs and Deanery Secretaries
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We hope you continue to be safe and well and enjoying the warm weather. As you know, the Government announced on Monday that it was pushing back the removal of lockdown restrictions from 21 June to 19 July. While this may have come as a disappointment for many of us, we would like to encourage you to stay positive and hopeful that as the vaccinations roll out, and the experts understand the new Delta variant more, we will, by the grace of God, see better days.
Weddings and Funerals
We are pleased that the Prime Minister has announced that the number of guests at weddings will no longer be limited to 30 provided social distancing remains in place. This will bring joy and no doubt come as a huge relief for the many couples and their families planning weddings this summer. He said the same will apply to wakes. Otherwise, we continue to remain in Step 3, so please continue to observe the necessary risk assessments.
For further government guidance on funerals click here
Statement from Bishop of London
We support Bishop Sarah Mullally, who said the following, in a statement on Monday:
“The confirmation tonight of a delay in the next stage of lifting Covid-19 restrictions will be a blow to many people but I understand why this decision has been taken.
“I am hugely thankful for the success and speed of the vaccination programme which has undoubtedly saved many lives – but we do have to take the spread of the more transmissible Delta variant very seriously and do all we can to protect each other as Christians called to love our neighbour.
“I know from those on the front line that the pressures on the NHS are extreme and understand that a delay of a few more weeks in lifting restrictions could make a big difference in helping us all to get ahead in the ‘race’ against this virus which has caused so much death and misery.
“Thankfully church buildings remain open for public worship and prayer. While we look forward to restrictions on worship being lifted in the near future, I will continue to press for ongoing appraisal of choral and congregational singing.
“We will also update our guidance on public worship where necessary in light of today’s announcement and I understand that the Business Committee of the General Synod will be looking at options for the planned July meeting of Synod in the next few days.
“The Prime Minister’s comments about lifting the limit of 30 people attending weddings will be a relief to many. We will await the detail from the Government about what it means in practice and will update our guidance to churches accordingly.
“Most of all, however, we do have hope. This pandemic has been a trial for us all but we put our trust in God and have hope that there are better times to come.”