Transforming the communities of Essex & East London through Christ’s presence

Bishop Peter’s letter to church leaders regarding the Government’s announcement of a new lockdown

2nd Nov 2020

The acting Bishop of Chelmsford, Rt Rev Peter Hill has written to church leaders across Essex and East London following the Government's announcement of a new lockdown from 5 November to 2 December. The letter reads as follows:

All Saints Day

1 November 2020

Dear sisters and brothers

Nothing about another lockdown is good. The tough and agonizing journey through this brutal pandemic continues. In the summer, like many, I was relieved to be more out and about, glad to be in live worship again and hopeful that the world would gradually open up more and more. But now the reverse is the case.

Repeating an almost total lockdown, even though time limited, is going to be doubly hard, especially as the Government has instructed us to close our churches for corporate worship once again. That is, I know, a huge blow and disappointment to me and to many of us. Whatever the science and logic we must face that reality and persevere. Like the psalmists in their own demanding journeys, we need to be real and honest and tell our loving God how we feel as each day dawns.

Whilst I know it is more than ever a time to look to the needs of our neighbours, and those most disadvantaged in our communities, please first look after yourself and your loved ones. Also do not be alone in this journey. If there is anything at all that you need, please be in touch with me, your Area Bishop, Archdeacon or Area Dean, whoever is most appropriate, and we will do our best to respond.

In the meantime today’s Epistle has begun to sustain me. I offer it again to you in hope and prayer:

1See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. 3And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. 1 John 3.1-3

+Peter Barking


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