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UK News

'God will bring some good out of the horror' soon-to-be Archbishop of York on coronavirus

by Cara Bentley

The Bishop of Chelsmford, who will become the Archbishop of York in June, has told Premier how God might be using the virus to change our lifestyle.  

Rt Reverend Stephen Cottrell has also told Premier Christian Radio what he has personally learnt from coroanvirus so far, saying that it has increased his belief in the teaching that 'the church' is the family of people, rather than the building. 

He praised: "The creativity of local churches, in the way that they're managing, not just to sustain a life of worship but also managing to sustain a life of care and service to their local communities, without the normal trappings that we think are so important."

However, Bishop Stephen Cottrell heeded that we must not go back to normal once this is all over: "normal has not served us terribly well - normal has been killing the planet, normal has meant most of us were working far too many hours, making far too many unnecessary journeys. 

"There's lots that we have learned from this - don't get me wrong, this pandemic is absolutely awful - it is the most terrible thing that I've experience in my lifetime by a long, long way, there's nothing good about it - but that doesn't mean God can't bring good out of it."

Describing what positive consequences there are hints of, Bishop Stephen said: "First of all, appreciation of those whose work is essential for our wellbeing. Of course, first and foremost, we're thinking about the health service, but I'm also thinking of the people who stack the shelves in Tesco, those who drive through the night in delivery lorries, we have a new appreciation for those people now."

He also reckons the work-life balance of most people has been challenged: "I think the way we work will never be the same again after this, and good thing too, because many of us were working in very unhealthy ways. Perhaps the greatest, lasting benefit might be that we learn to live a little more simply and a little bit more sustainably on the earth.

"There is an opportunity here for God to bring some good out of the horror and terrible darkness of this pandemic."

Listen to the full interview here

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