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Church News

Clergy unable to minister Holy Week services amid Covid-19 surge

by Alex Collett

A number of clergy from the Church of England are unable to minister services this Holy Week, due to contracting Coronavirus.

Last week Covid cases hit the highest number since February 2021, with over 20,000 infections reported across the country.

The Bishop of Norwich, Graham Usher is just one of the clergy who have come down with the virus.

In a series of Tweets posted on social media he said: "After two years, I've tested positive for Covid.

"Gutted not to be able to at the Diocese of Norwich, Chrism Eucharist service. 

"Very disappointed that I can't preside at this service but I'll be joining the live stream.

"Just don't catch Covid like me!

To which Stephen Hance National Lead for Evangelism and Witness of the Church of England replied: "Sorry to hear. 

"I think that's now 4 diocesans I know with Covid this Holy Week. 

"Very bad timing."

Bryony Taylor, Rector of Barlborough & Clowne churches, from the Diocese of Derby, also tweeted about the issue and asked people to pray for the clergy, as they miss out this week.

She tweeted: "Lots of clergy are missing Holy Week with their churches because of Covid. 

"Please spare a prayer for us missing out on the highlight of the year."

The Group & Lay Canon Emerita of Ely Cathedral Jan Payne also tweeted and said: "This LLM is OK so far but I am seeing several diocesan Bishops are down and a lot of clergy too. 

"Holy Week 2022 could be memorable."

Health chiefs want Britons to follow a string of new Covid measures to fight record infection rates in the UK and ease pressure on the NHS.

The Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally who led the Church’s Covid Recovery Group, said: “Just as with other workforces across the country, a number of clergy are affected by the virus at the moment – during what is of course a particularly busy and holy time for our churches. 

“We pray for all those who are ill and offer our thanks to those who step in and offer support, lay and ordained.”

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