Bishop Andrew has urged clergy and parishioners in the Diocese of Derry and Raphoe to support the most vulnerable in their communities while, at the same time, adhering to advice from public health authorities. He has encouraged clergy and parish teams to consider adopting or adapting an initiative shared by Archdeacon Terry Scott in Armagh, which seeks to help older and more vulnerable people in practical ways.
“As the COVID-19 Virus spreads around the world, we are, I believe, living through an epoch-defining moment in history,” the Bishop says. “For many of our loved ones, friends and neighbours – especially the elderly and vulnerable – this is a frightening time.
“In these days of darkness, we, as Christians, should let the light of Christ shine brightly. We are people of faith, not fear.
“Many of our more elderly and vulnerable parishioners and neighbours have begun self-isolating, and I expect many more will have to do likewise. Some of them live alone. Most are anxious. Many have practical needs. It is important that we – as a Church, as parishes and as a community – support the most vulnerable.
“This is a fast-moving situation and subject to change at a moment’s notice. It is essential that in everything we do, we abide by the guidance of our governments and public health services.
“’God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear’. (Psalm 46)
+Andrew Derry and Raphoe