Kent Church leaders share Christmas message of hope and encouragement

Bishop James and Bishop Simon have joined Church leaders from across the denominations in Kent, to share a message of hope and encouragement with the county this Christmas.

"The Christmas message tells us that Jesus is the one who was foretold to be “Emmanuel, which means ‘God is with us’”.

"Whatever our individual situations as we face these difficult days, and perhaps especially if we are on our own for some or all of the time, may we come to know that God is with us and that Jesus comes to make his home in our homes."

In the letter, the Leaders acknowledge the anxiety, frustration and also isolation that many across the region will be experiencing:

"There will be empty seats at our tables, and some of the presents under the tree won’t reach their recipients for a long time"

It continues:  

"The sense of being cut off becomes increasingly real – and for a good number that will be very literal as they spend unexpected time on their own, isolated and lonely."

The message goes on to assure people of the support and prayers of churches across their communities, and invites them to explore some of the ways they can engage safely with worship to help them stay connected:

"Many churches are finding creative ways to walk alongside people and to meet their physical, practical and spiritual needs at this time.  Meeting for worship over Christmas is still permitted and possible.  In some places this is in person – albeit with great care and reduced numbers; in many others, online services are offered.  

"Whether in person or online, attending a Christmas service may help you to know that you are still part of a wider community."

The Church leaders ago on to take the opportunity to encourage people to look out for others, especially in terms of helping reduce the spread of the virus: 

"But this year also we have another important way of showing and sharing our concern for each other and especially for the very vulnerable.  That is to make sure that we do all we can to avoid putting other people at risk of catching the virus.  And of course that is the more important because our hospitals across Kent and Medway are already under huge pressure."

You can read the message in full here

Copyright 2015 © The Diocese of Rochester. Registered Office: St Nicholas’ Church, Boley Hill, Rochester, Kent, ME1 1SL. Registered Charity No. 249339 The Rochester Diocesan Society and Board of Finance is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England No. 140656