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Chief Rabbi, Justin Welby and Cardinal Vincent Nichols gather on video call to discuss impact of coronavirus

by Tola Mbakwe
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The leaders of the Jewish community, Anglicans and Catholics in the UK have had a video conversation to share thoughts about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 23 minute chat posted on Youtube covered various aspects of how faith groups are handling living in the outbreak. 

Cardinal Vincent Nichols said this outbreak has highlighted the importance of prayer. 

"With churches closed, that the rootedness of faith now lies much more within each one of us and within our family circle or the people with whom we are, as it were shut in,' he said. 

"My sense is that it's teaching us there's deeper roots of our relationship with God. It's teaching us deeper roots of personal prayer. It's teaching us that, while we might not be physically in touch with each other, there is a great bond of fellowship and of the Holy Spirit. And there's something actually quite positive, even just beginning to emerge. Think of this experience painful as it is."

He also talked of his amazement of how technology has helped churches at this time. 

"I'm just astonished at the creativity and the richness and the inventiveness of so many things that are on offer to help us."
Meanwhile, Most Rev Justin Welby pointed out that Christians will come out of this pandemic with a renewed outlook on what the definition of 'church' is. 

"In the early Christian era, church was in someone's home," he said. 

"Then as buildings got grander and more significance, in the end, enter today's strange place where the building is seen as the church, and the people, those who go to the church. And I think what we will be learning from this is to recover the idea that the church is the people of God regardless of whether they have a building beautiful and wonderful as those buildings are."

During the discussion Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis commended faith communities have responded to the outbreak generously and highlighted the unity in the UK during a time of uncertainty. 

"What I find to be so inspiring is the extent to which people see the selflessness that is so important as being an integral part of our religious identity," he said.

"This is religion, in its finest hour, when people are there for the sake of others. It's something quite extraordinary and inspirational and we've seen the whole national effort as being something wonderful. 

"Britain is a remarkable country. We're privileged to be part of a great society. The response to the call for volunteers, which I think now is up to something like three quarters of a million people to come out and to help, is simply extraordinary. And we're finding in our community similarly, that people are going beyond the call of duty to be there for the sake of others."

Watch the full discussion here: 

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