Church of England Clergy Banned by Bishop from Ministering to Sick and Dying
Right Reverend Stephen Cottrell, the Bishop of Chelmsford, wrote to all Church of England clergy and volunteer hospital chaplains warning them not to minister to any sick or dying hospital patients showing symptoms of the Corona virus. The intention of this effective ban is to reduce the risk of spreading the infection. However, according to Christian Today reporting on 9 April 2020: “The guidance applies only to temporary volunteer chaplains. Full-time NHS chaplains are permitted to continue ministering face to face”.
The Bishop’s letter was met with criticism. The rector at Great St Bartholomew's, London, for instance, argued in the Christian Today report that at ordination all Anglican priests are charged with ministering to the sick and preparing the dying for their death.