Archbishops call nation to prayer amid ‘enormity of pandemic’

The two most senior figures in the Church of England have invited everyone to “call on God in prayer” in response to the “terrible milestone” of 100,000 deaths attributed to Covid-19.

In a letter addressed to the nation, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York asked people to set aside time every evening at 6pm to pause, reflect and pray for themselves and for others, starting from 1 February.

Justin Welby and Stephen Cottrell offered words of comfort and encouragement in their joint statement, as they pointed to “the Christian hope” in Jesus Christ.


The Archbishops spoke of the serious toll anxiety, despondency and “pandemic grief” had taken upon the nation.

They urged people to “cast their fears on God”, adding: “One thing we can all do is pray”.

As well as thanking front-line workers, church leaders and good neighbours, they expressed gratitude for the hope offered by the vaccine, which they described as a “testimony to the God-given wisdom and gifts of scientist and researchers”.

Resurrection hope

The Archbishops concluded: “Most of all, we have hope because God raised Jesus from the dead.

Death doesn’t have the last word. In God’s kingdom every tear will be wiped away

“This is the Christian hope that we will be celebrating at Easter.

“We live in the hope that we will share in his resurrection.

“Death doesn’t have the last word. In God’s kingdom every tear will be wiped away.”

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