Coronavirus - Be Salt and Light Church Leaders say "Look after your neighbours"

Church leaders remind us to look after our neighbours during this time.

"Let's see if we can be salt and light in the world as Christians and keep an eye open for our neighbours, especially vulnerable people"

Whilst there are many giving advice on how to protect ourselves and our loved ones during this time, the Bishop of St Albans, Alan Smith, has posted his Golden rules which prioritize thinking of others.

In a Twitter posts he writes

"Golden Rule One. Each one of us can think about how we can protect and support our neighbours. So much of the public rhetoric is sowing fear about the danger of other people. So, taking all the official precautions,  offer help and reassurance to others – and don’t demonise anyone or any group.

Golden Rule Two: Think about who may be suffering more than me. For those of us who are healthy there is much less to worry about but the elderly, the housebound and those with chronic health conditions may be very anxious. How about each church undertaking an audit of all the vulnerable people they know and sharing out the responsibility to phone them each day. There’s nothing like a friendly voice to offer solace when someone is worried. A smile can bring cheer, even on the phone. If you visit, follow all the official precautions or don’t go.

Golder Rule Three. Don’t give into panic and start hoarding food. There is plenty to go around, so practise the Christian discipline of sharing. Ask your neighbours what they need and do you best to help them get it. If you are self-isolating you will of course need some supplies.

Golden Rule Four. Live today to the full. None of us ever know what the future holds. In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6. 25 – 34), Jesus challenged his followers to live each day fully and not be afraid. Every time we are tempted to give in to fear we need to make a conscious choice to respond in trust and openness."

Simon Harvey, vicar of St Mary's and St Peter's, in Bury St Edmunds, told his congregation that everyone should do their bit to be a good neighbour and look out for the vulnerable in their community.

He welcomed the "very sensible" guidance from Public Health England and the Church of England, saying that much of the hygiene advice covered things that churches and parishioners should already be doing, like washing hands and using tissues. 

At the same time, he encouraged Christians "to take this seriously but also to keep it in proportion". 

"Let's look out for vulnerable people - people in our community who may not have access to this information, who may be very worried," he said.

"It may be that we can just keep an eye on our neighbours. I think that's really important - not just on our church friends but on our neighbours in the community.

"Let's see if we can be salt and light in the world as Christians and keep an eye open for our neighbours, especially vulnerable people.
 

17 Mar 2020

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