For the first time this weekend the Bishop of Winchester is to broadcast a Sunday service from his home as church buildings across the country close due to coronavirus.
Across the Diocese, members of the clergy are finding new ways to reach their congregations and to offer a sense of community at a time when it is most needed. Many will be hosting services by group video calls, while others will broadcast services from their homes.
The Bishop’s service will be broadcast on the Diocese of Winchester’s website, and will allow Christians across Hampshire to feel part of a worshipping community even while churches are closed.
In his first online service this weekend Bishop Tim calls on Christians across Hampshire to pray for those who are feeling lonely, those who are not well, and those who are separated from loved ones at this time. He also prays for those who are caring for others because they work for the NHS or because they are among the hundreds of thousands who have volunteered to help.
In his sermon Bishop Tim remembers how Christians in Hampshire prayed for those in Wuhan at the beginning of the outbreak there, and points out that the Christian community in Wuhan are now praying for those in the UK.
Bishop Tim will draw a parallel with the story of Lazarus as he says that Chinese Christians are now
“witnessing new life on the other side of the lockdown they have faced. They represent to us something of what is promised in the resurrection, something on the other side of those things which we now realise are going to be absolutely necessary for the preservation of our life as we face being shut down and shut in.”
A service will be broadcast each Sunday on the Diocese of Winchester’s website while churches remain closed. The services, along with other resources to help people remain connected despite social distancing measures, will be available on the Diocese of Winchester’s website: https://winchester.anglican.org/