Pastoral Letter from Bishop Stephen

Please find attached a pastoral letter from Bishop Stephen. Please share this with your parishes. A video version will also be posted on our social media channels and website in the coming days.

Letter from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York providing detailed guidance on worship

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have written to all clergy to provide detailed guidance on worship and prayer during the Coronavirus Pandemic. The letter is attached to this email. Also attached is a document setting out detailed guidance on prayer in church. Tomorrow we will publish resources on our website to support prayer and worship in your own parishes.


Thanks to your feedback via your Area Deans and your emails to, we have been able to compile some answers to your Frequently Asked Questions. These FAQs will continue to be updated and grow over the coming days and weeks as we work to support you with the issues you face. At present the FAQs deal with:

– What do we do if people turn up for services this Sunday morning?

– Should we have a continuity plan for our parish?

– Should meetings continue?

– What about APCMS and PCC meetings?

– What about weddings?

– What about the publication of banns of marriage?

– Can funerals still take place?

– Do I need a license to live stream services?

– What do we do about groups and individuals hiring church buildings?

There will be further updates to the advice in the next 24 hours and an additional set of FAQs relating specifically to clergy is being circulated to Area Deans via Archdeacons.

Training, Coaching and MDR provision

Please find attached a letter from Andrew Griffiths regarding training, coaching and MDR provision in light of the Coronavirus.

Thank you once more for the work you are doing and your helpful engagement. Archdeacons are now speaking with Area Deans on a daily basis and these conversations are being fed into the Diocesan Communications Group, so please do stay in touch with your Area Dean.

Yours in Christ

The Diocesan Communications Group.

Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford

Rt Rev Peter Hill, Bishop of Barking

The Venerable Ruth Patten, Archdeacon of Colchester

The Venerable Chris Burke, Archdeacon of Barking

Rev Canon Dr Roger Matthews, Dean of Mission and Ministry

Joel Gowen, Diocesan Secretary and Chief Executive

Keith Baggs, Chelmsford Cathedral

Tom Geldard, Diocesan Director of Communications and Media

The Chelmsford Diocesan Board of Finance is a company registered by guarantee Reg No. 137029 / Charity No. 249505, at 53 New Street, Chelmsford, CM1 1AT. This message and any attachments is intended for the addressee(s) only and may contain privileged, confidential, or proprietary information that is exempt from disclosure under law. If you have received this message in error, please inform us promptly by reply email, then delete the email and destroy any printed copy.

Thank you.
The Diocese of Chelmsford