Bishop steps up efforts to limit spread of virus in Derry and Raphoe

The Bishop of Derry and Raphoe has announced that the diocese is to step up efforts to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus. On Friday evening Rt Reverend Andrew Forster said that all churches in the diocese would remain closed for the foreseeable future. It had been hoped that churches could open briefly this weekend to facilitate private prayer by parishioners in accordance with social distancing protocols. However, Bishop Andrew has decided that even these restricted opportunities for worship should no longer be allowed and that all buildings would remain closed.

Here is Bishop Andrew’s full statement to diocesan clergy:

“It is with great regret that I have to update the guidance I gave to you on Wednesday regarding the opening of our churches for private prayer. Unfortunately, I must now insist that our buildings remain closed. This is in line with latest advice and is solely to ensure the health of our parishioners.

“I know many of you had plans to offer opportunities for prayer in church on Sunday and that is what I had hoped could happen. However, in this fast moving and fluid environment, we must do the right thing. Thank you for your incredible commitment to your parishioners and for your cooperation at this most challenging of times.

“Psalm 18 v 28: ‘You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light’.”

+Andrew Derry & Raphoe