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

Bishop Stephen’s Pastoral Letter to Parishes in Essex and East London about the Coronavirus Pandemic

20th Mar 2020


Please note that in response to changing government guidelines, our guidelines for churches have changed considerably since this letter was written. Please ensure you are following our up to date guidelines


Pastoral Letter

The Right Reverend Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford has written to parishes across Essex and East London about the Coronavirus Pandemic.

In the letter, Bishop Stephen offers a message of reassurance:

"As followers of Jesus Christ we are custodians of living hope; nothing less than the firm and joyful conviction that in Jesus Christ, God has already won the victory over sin, desolation, uncertainty and death. This doesn't mean that we are immune from the sufferings of the world, nor that we should not take the same sensible precautions as everyone else. But it does mean that we of all people need not be overtaken by despair. Moreover, we have a paritcular vocation to offer our nation and our local communities, the hope and the medicine of the gospel."

The letter goes on to set out three challenges from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York:

1) Continuing a pattern of daily prayer without public worship.

2) Using the opportunities of the digital environment to propogate the good news of the Gospel.

3) Seving our nation- being at the forefront of paractical care and support for the most poor and vulnerable.

Your can read the full text of Bishop Stephen's letter here.


Further information

Chelsmford Diocese Worship and Minsitry Resources for use during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Chelmsford Diocese Coronavirus Advice and Guidance for Parishes