A PASTORAL MESSAGE FROM THE BISHOP OF CLOGHER, RIGHT REVEREND JOHN MCDOWELL

2 April 2020 No Comments by The Northern Standard

The Church of Ireland Bishop of Clogher and Archbishop- Elect of Armagh, Right Reverend John McDowell, has asked people at this uncertain time to look out for each other and to be calm and measured in responding to the latest coronavirus restrictions on both sides of the border.

On Monday, he issued the following pastoral message, having previously announced restrictions on regular church services in the diocese: “I think it’s no exaggeration to say that we all got quite a shock when the Prime Minister announced the very wide-ranging restrictions which we will all have to live with for a time.

However, as the first day of the temporary “new normal” dawns, I would like to offer some words of hope and assurance. It is said of (the diocesan patron Saint) St Macartan that he was a strong man. Maybe he was. We know very little about him. But if he was anything like his mentor, St Patrick, his strength was rooted entirely in his dependence on God.”

“We are passing through an uncertain time. Many of the things which we took for granted – freedom to go where we liked when we liked; freedom to buy what we could afford; a feeling that, all being well, tomorrow would be much the same as today.”

“For a while that will all be different. We will have to think instead of taking things for granted; from the greatest of us to the least. Above all else we will need to look out for one another and to be calm and measured in all that we do. Although it is inevitably a little uncertain what our new rhythms of life will be for some weeks or months…

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