This email communication has been sent to all licensed Active Clergy, clergy who hold the bishop's Permission to Officiate, Retired Clergy, Readers, Authorised Lay Ministers, Churchwardens, Lay Chairs, PCC Secretaries, and the members of the Bishop’s Council of Diocesan Trustees.

Dear colleagues 

You will have heard in the news today that the Prime Minister has made a number of announcements about upcoming changes to parts of the lockdown. From 4th July, within restrictions church buildings may be opened for limited public worship where it is safe to do so.

We are very mindful of all that you have been handling as incumbents, with your ministerial colleagues, churchwardens, PCCs and volunteers, especially in the last weeks following the permission to open churches again for private prayer.  We recognise that the latest announcement will present you with a further series of decisions to make in your parishes.  Until such time as the government publishes its guidance, it is immensely difficult to plan:  announcements made before the provision of detailed information are extremely stressful. 

We want to bring you the most relevant and accurate information to assist you and we shall do so as quickly as we possibly can. We expect to receive the government and national church guidelines in the next few days, and as soon as we have done so, we will share them with you, together with any local advice that we might be able to add. As previously, advice will also be successively updated on the Church of England website to reflect the new guidance, as will the information with respect to weddings and advice for couples. We are ready to support you, as are your archdeacons and the diocesan staff at Edward King House.

This media release was made today following the Prime Minister's announcement:

Following the Government announcement that church buildings will be able to reopen for public worship from 4th July, providing physical distancing remains in place, the Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, who leads the Church of England’s Recovery Group, said: "I welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement today that we will soon be able to begin to meet and worship together in our church buildings again.

"The last three months have been an extraordinary time - the first period without public worship and the sacraments in England in more than 800 years. There will be real joy as we begin to come together again – if even at a physical distance – but I also know that many will be understandably cautious at this news.

“We will not be returning to normality overnight - this is the next step on a journey. We’ve been planning carefully, making detailed advice available for parishes to enable them to prepare to hold services when it is safe and practical to do so. It is important to say that the change in Government guidance is permissive, not prescriptive.

"I would particularly like to thank clergy and lay leaders for all they have done during the time our buildings have been closed. Not all church buildings will be ready to hold regular services from July 4th, but we are providing whatever support we can to enable them.  

“There will still be restrictions and we must all still do everything we can to limit the spread of the virus to protect each other, especially the most vulnerable. The online services and dial-in worship offerings we have become used to will continue.

“This has been an incredibly difficult time for the whole country, especially for those who have been ill, who have suffered financial hardship, the loss of livelihoods and indeed, for many, those they love. We know that is not over and the Church has a task ahead to bring consolation and hope.

“Churches and cathedrals have risen to the recent challenges, finding new ways of meeting for worship, of serving our neighbours, and of reaching new people with the love of God. The challenge before us now is to take the next steps carefully and safely, without forgetting all that we’ve discovered about God and ourselves on the way.”

Licensing of Lay Workers  

On 4 July at 10:30am there will be a service on Zoom to licence as lay workers those who were to be ordained as deacons. Their ordination will now be later in the year. 

Could we ask you to remember them in your prayers as they prepare for the licensing and ministry in their benefices. The service will be recorded and will be available to see on the diocesan website and social media. 

Jane Foster-Smith

Stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefice of Welton and Dunholme with Scothern

Lynne Hawkins

Stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefice of The Horncastle Group

Liz Johnson

Stipendiary Licenced Lay Worker in the benefices of Messingham, Scotter with East Ferry and Scotton with Northorpe

Kath Pickering

Stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefice of Lincoln Swallowbeck St George

Jon Speirs-Davies

Stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefice of Skirbeck Holy Trinity

Teena Twelves

Stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefice of Nettleham

Michelle Webb

Stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefice of Lincoln St Giles

Ross Copley

Stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefice of Lincoln All Saints

Helen Eke

Non-stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefice of The Carr Dyke Group

Lisa Hughes

Non-stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefice of The Ness Group

Barbara Manterfield

Non-stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefice of Grantham, Harrowby with Londonthorpe

Julie Miles

Non-stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefice of Frodingham and New Brumby

Lynne Smith

Non-stipendiary Licensed Lay Worker in the benefices of Clee, Cleethorpes St Aidan and Cleethorpes St Francis


Liturgical material for the anniversary of the NHS

We also want to offer you this material from the liturgical commission that may be useful for you should you be marking the anniversary of the NHS in any way on 5th July.

With our ongoing appreciation for your ministry,

Bishop David
The Right Reverend Dr David Court
Bishop of Grimsby
Acting Bishop of Lincoln

and

Bishop Nicholas
The Right Reverend Dr Nicholas Chamberlain
Bishop of Grantham