What is church when people can’t be together physically?

Adult Learning
Today at the Cathedral View More
8:00am Morning Prayer
8:30am Doors open for sightseeing
8:30am Eucharist
12:30pm Eucharist
4:00pm Last entry for sightseeing
5:00pm Choral Evensong
5:30pm Cathedral closes

What is church when people can’t be together physically?

This is a time which raises hard questions – about how we live, about our values, about God. We asked people what was most on their minds, and then we asked a wide range of writers, thinkers and theologians to reflect on these ‘hard questions’.

Watch a taster here:

and all responses are here. Each one is 2-3 minutes long. 

This time reminds us that our real community is in Christ and encompasses all time and space, and my local community, wonderful as it may be, is just a sign of that. 

Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP             

Even though we can’t be together physically, we can be creative.  Church on the phone, church on the internet, church by finding out who is hungry or can’t pay their rent, and helping. And if God calls us to love one another, then we can recognise that taking care not to spread the virus is actively an act of Christian charity. 

The Revd Prof Maggi Dawn, Professor of Theology, Durham University                                                

I’ve been very much missing going to church, but we are held together by the love of God poured out in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit in a unity that cannot be broken. Church as the body of Christ is not actually dependent on our physically being together. But it helps. 

Dr Jane Williams, Assistant Dean and Tutor in Theology, St Mellitus College

I wonder if this is an invitation to be called out of the spaces which we find comfortable, and ask ourselves where are the altars in our everyday lives. Can we find God when we are chopping carrots or changing nappies, in the kind words of friends and strangers, while we are walking outside in nature? 

The Revd Dr Susie Snyder, Tutor, Ripon College Cuddesdon

Our lives are full of Eucharistic moments.  Church is not virtual when we experience God’s presence to us, and when we experience our presence to one another in God. Then church is happening.  It’s here and it’s now.  

Dr Gemma Simmonds CJ

As we begin our journey out of lock down, one of the key questions for us as a church is how we will maintain those things that the Holy Spirit has grown in us during this time, so that as a community our physical life will be enriched by those new ways of praying, of caring and also of having fun.

The Revd Arun Arora, Vicar, St Nics, Durham

Or to watch all the films together, click here

Come back next week to watch Sarah Mullally, John Swinton, Hilary Ison and Timothy Radcliffe among others explore the question: ‘What does “dying well” mean to you during this time?’