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A BEACON OF LIGHT
It is almost becoming a ‘liturgy’ in itself to say that we live in unprecedented times but sadly we do.
This morning (Tuesday 17 March 2020) with great reluctance and following the advice of the Government and our Archbishops, we have taken the decision to suspend public worship at Newcastle Cathedral for the present time. Also given the constrained situation – it would be impossible to ensure the recommended social distancing – of the Cathedral during our present major works we have reluctantly decided to close the Cathedral to visitors for the time being.
These have been hard decisions to make but we need to be prudent and wise. My colleagues and I are now busy trying to put in place communications systems and resources to offer those who, like us, will miss our worship terribly. We will have to learn together to ‘be church’ in new ways, at least until things become clearer or more settled.
Be assured that we may be having to practice this social distancing but we have not gone away or completely shut up shop. Our daily prayer will continue, perhaps in new and hopefully imaginative ways. Our concern for everyone will not be diminished, though we will have to learn to express it differently.
Along with other Church Leaders the Archbishops have called for a day of prayer and action this coming Sunday Mothering Sunday (22nd March). Wherever you are this Sunday you are invited to join in a day of prayer and action and to remember especially those who are sick or anxious and all involved in our Health Service. As one action, the Church Leaders are calling on everyone to place a lighted candle in their window at 7pm this Sunday as a sign of solidarity and hope in the light of Christ that can never be extinguished.
The Cathedral staff are working at this very moment to prepare prayerful resources to be made available each day. If you can, please consult the Cathedral website and subscribe for email updates.
Above all we will need to stand with and pray together in solidarity so to recall the steadfast love of God shown us in Christ and to call upon His healing presence among us at this difficult time.
The Very Revd Geoff Miller, Dean of Newcastle