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Statement on the Church of England’s Covid guidance to churches (July 2021)

"We believe that all churches should be prioritising justice, hospitality and inclusion for all, especially when the rest of society is not doing the same"

Yesterday the Church of England released guidance to churches following the end of Covid restrictions on 19th July. Bishop Sarah referred to articles by Naomi Jacobs and the one Laura and I write for YouBelong To try and help those concerned about what it all meant I shared again the article that Laura Neale and I had written about worshipping together safely

By the time I woke this morning my twitter inbox was full of negative messages, insults and worse; mainly from church leaders; yes, church leaders. People called by God to serve the world were angry that I was focussing on the vulnerable of society, rather than encouraging celebrations and singing.

I tweeted my disappointment and reached out to Laura, Dr Naomi Lawson Jacobs and Rev Katie Tupling for some moral support. That support quickly became a discussion about the guidance and our concern that it was too open to interpretation, leaving incumbents and churches with hard decisions with little support, and could results in the exclusion of many Vulnerable people.

Over the next few hours our chat became thinking which then became an article. A call to the CofE to protect the vulnerable. Naomi is hosting the article on her website, you can read it here:

Our hope is that this article, along with the others we've written over the last few weeks and the twitter storm of support I've received, will help churches around the country understand the issues faced by vulnerable people and ensure that no one is excluded,

The pandemic has shined a light into the dark places of exclusion, vulnerability and inequality; let's ensure that the light grows and lights a path to inclusion for all.

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