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Archbishop of Canterbury to deliver Easter sermon from his kitchen

The Archbishop of Canterbury will deliver his Easter sermon from his kitchen as churches remain shut during the coronavirus crisis.

Justin Welby, the most senior bishop in the Church of England, normally presides before a congregation of 1,500 people at Canterbury Cathedral on Easter Sunday morning.

But this year he will instead lead the Church’s first national digital Easter service in a video recorded on his iPad at his flat in Lambeth Palace, south London.

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All of Britain’s churches and cathedrals are currently closed to public and private worship as part of social distancing measures aimed at stopping the spread of coronavirus.

The Prince of Wales and actress Joanna Lumley will also appear in special online Easter Sunday services by Canterbury Cathedral.

In his sermon, the Most Rev Justin Welby will call for “a resurrection of our common life”, while also hailing the courage of people working on the front line in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

“After so much suffering, so much heroism from key workers and the NHS, we cannot be content to go back to what was before as if all is normal,” he will tell a virtual congregation.

“There needs to be a resurrection of our common life.”

He will add: “People right across the globe feel the same uncertainty, fear, despair and isolation. But you are not alone.

“In the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have a hope that is surer than stone, than any architecture.

“Even in the dark days of this Easter we can feed on hope. We can dream of what our country and our world will look like after the pandemic.”

The Archbishop will be joined in the virtual service by his wife Caroline, who will read from the Book of Acts.

The BBC service will finish with a national virtual congregation singing Thine Be The Glory, submitted by Radio 4 listeners in advance.

The service will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 4 from 8.10am on Sunday and available to watch on the Church of England’s website and Facebook page from 9am.

Additional reporting by Press Association


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