Guidelines for the Scottish Episcopal Church have been issued today
by the College of Bishops. They are available at www.scotland.anglican.org/coronavirus-updates/.
Guidelines call us to make drastic changes to our church
• public worship is suspended in all our churches and chapels.
• churches may, but do not have to, remain open
for individual prayer if people observe hygiene rules.
• funerals will have to be taken at the graveside or
crematorium, with very few family members present, but may be
followed by a public memorial service when the situation allows.
• weddings will have to be celebrated in private or postponed
until the situation changes.
• face to face meetings of Vestries, Committees and all Church
groups are suspended.
These are drastic and stringent sacrifices for us to make, but we
make them out of love not out of fear, for the protection of the
people among us who are most vulnerable to infection.
we also have to think and act positively as
churches. Our congregations have to think
about ‘gathering’ in a different way, and our clergy and
lay readers have to think about being priests and pastors in a
• the SEC will be providing online Eucharistic
worship on Sundays. We can follow information about this and
participate from home, via the SEC website: https://www.scotland.anglican.org.
• some clergy in our Diocese are arranging to put their own
live or recorded worship online for their congregations. Please let
the Diocese know, so that we can send out the information to others
who may also wish to participate in this online worship.
Instructions on live-streaming services on Facebook are at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhnR0hahkD0&fbclid=IwAR39NRhUxZul2aWD39aXlLEzhGPG534cAf66sSlsS8wDDfsYCR6zwd7yWtk
• I am encouraging the clergy to continue to celebrate the Eucharist
for Sundays and Feast Days for the community, and Daily Prayer on
weekdays, at the usual times, even if they are alone in the Church.
I hope they will either share this online with the congregation, or
ensure that they know it is happening and can participate
prayerfully at the usual time using the set readings and prayer
resources they have been provided with.
• I encourage everyone to use Daily Prayer, perhaps from the
SEC website, and for congregations to pray for their community and
each other each day.
• There are good online resources for liturgical prayer and
lectionary reflection, such as:
Church USA, Sunday and weekday lectionary readings texts:
• Please keep in regular contact by phone with
your clergy, other members of your congregation, and with people in
your community. Tell the clergy and others if your are ill, or if
you need pastoral support.
• But please remember that your clergy and lay ministers also
need to stay healthy and to take care. Many of them are vulnerable
to this virus, too, and may need to reduce their social contacts in
order to keep safe.
• Above all, pray for those most at risk, for the medical
services, and for the whole community. I invite everyone to respond
to the suggestion of the Archbishop of Canterbury, that we
all light a candle and place it in a window for people to see,
at 7.00pm this Sunday and every Sunday as long as the
situation lasts. Make it an act of prayer for the world and a sign
of Christ, the Light of the World.
The present situation could go on for quite a long time, but the
Church of God has continued to serve people through epidemics,
disasters and wars for centuries. Coronavirus will not prevent us
from being the praying, caring Body of Christ. We just have to
learn to do it differently for a while, and, as Jesus often told
the disciples, not to be afraid.
prayer and blessing,