This is in line with Government advice on social gatherings and subsequent Church of England advice, and will impact all Sunday services and other planned gatherings. It also follows publication of a joint letter from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York issued to all clergy.
Bishop James notes: "In these changing times we are a ‘changing church’. So we will need to consider how best to use online resources for worship. I know we have already signposted clergy to those available on the Church of England’s Coronavirus website page and these will be updated in coming days."
Where possible, churches are also encouraged to remain open as places for private prayer, providing the two-metre social distancing rules are observed alongside those around general public hygiene and handwashing.
Bishop James concludes: "Finally, as this situation continues to develop I would ask that clergy hold in their prayers all those who have contracted the virus, those who have lost their lives and our wonderful NHS staff who continue to work on the frontline to battle Coronavirus."