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, 

We write to you with further clarification from the archbishops on the closure of church buildings, which is attached to this email, as well as resources for funerals from the National Church.

We were hugely encouraged last week by the creativity that many of you showed as you entered into the world of ‘streaming’ and the use of modern technology. The result was that many more people were part of our worship last Sunday than on a normal Sunday in our buildings! As we ourselves follow the government guidelines, and so will be at home this Sunday, we are looking forward to what we might find, as we surf the net again. We do encourage everyone to join in local worship in some way this weekend. Please be aware there is also a national service on Sunday led by the Archbishop of York at 9am on the Church of England website and Facebook page which you might want to point people to. 

Funeral Resources

Please find below a link to resources from the National Church. There is also some guidance from the Liturgical Commission. You may wish to adapt these in some ways.  However, they are designed to be brief - a requirement that is anticipated by those planning for an increase in the number of funerals across the county and nation. The diocese is part of a group planning how we can best care for those who die and for their families should there be a large increase in deaths in the county. This will require a change in current structures and how clergy, funeral directors and crematorium/cemetery staff interact. We will update you on this at a later time.

https://www.churchofengland.org/life-events/funerals/clergy-funeral-and-bereavement-resources 

On that page is included

·         a short advice document for clergy

·         outline orders of service for funerals at crematoria and at the graveside, observing the current public health guidance

·         a simple reflection and prayers which can be shared by ministers with those who are unable to attend funerals

·         printable graphics and stationery to share prayers and to point to online light-a-candle page

Supporting our Schools

Please accept our thanks for the way in which so many of you have adapted to change and been creative as church as changed in a matter of days. We are conscious that our Church Schools, with whom we share a special bond, are also undergoing immense change. Schools are required to be open over the upcoming Easter and bank holidays and head teachers are having to manage this with many of their teams isolated at home. Can we encourage clergy in particular to connect with their local schools on a regular basis? This may be as simple as a phone call.

With our best wishes and prayers,

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