The Civic and Parish Church of Bournemouth

Update from Winchester Diocese regarding the Coronavirus – 19th March 2020

Dear Friends 
In the changes occurring across the world at this difficult time, and particularly in the United Kingdom, we also seeing many signs of hope.  We are inspired by the day-to-day bravery of those who care for others, the hard work of other key workers under great pressure, the power of human collaboration in science and many other fields.  We are also recognising with increasingly clarity the capacity of every person for kindness towards others, in whatever their sphere of life or work.  We recognise this as a capacity for which we were created by God who loves us and is the source of love and hope.  “Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus Christ our righteousness,” and we pray for courage to share this hope with others. 

Many of you will be interested to know that Bishop Tim has today signed a direction extending the deadline for Annual Parochial Church Meetings until the end of October 2020.  This direction also means that the term of service for churchwardens, PCC members and deanery synod representatives are extended.  A copy of the direction (with explanatory notes) can be found on the website here.  We are still waiting for the outcome of a request to delay General Synod elections, which will take a little longer.  We have also been informed today that the Disclosure and Barring Service is to allow the checking of identity documents for DBS checks by video link.  A link to the new instructions is now on our website . 

In the light of yesterday’s announcement that schools are to close, we are praying for schools across the diocese, for headteachers and staff, and for students and pupils.  There will be schools working hard to provide distance learning, while others support the care of children of key workers and the most vulnerable, and we pray for them and for students facing disappointment and uncertainty about exams.  There will be additional challenges for families, and we invite families, whenever they are able, to make a place for prayer together in their homes and as they adjust to new routines. 

With our prayers and best wishes
The Bishops and Bishop’s Staff Team