Companion Links and Coronavirus
Bishop Tim remains in regular contact with the Archbishops of Companion Link Provinces the Diocese of Winchester is linked with, keeping up to date with the situation in their countries so that, as a Diocese, we can pray for their needs.
Please continue to pray for an end to this global pandemic as cases continue to rise, for our brothers and sisters in other parts of the communion across the world and the impact on their less stable healthcare systems. Our friends in some of our partner provinces – Burundi, DR Congo and Myanmar – have shared the following news and requests for prayer.
The Burundi Government have introduced new measures to limit the spread of the virus, including the installation of hygiene facilities in all public places and increased testing. Churches are also affected by this, though sadly the Church in Burundi have been unable to provide equipment and facilities for all churches.
The cost of virus testing kits makes testing inaccessible for many local residents in parishes across the country, meaning that many are at risk of increasing the spread of the virus to their neighbours and loved ones.
Since the beginning of the pandemic earlier this year, Dioceses in the DR Congo have been supported by newly appointed Provincial Health Coordinators. Church leaders have also received additional training to help control the spread of the virus within parishes.
Church services have reopened but obtaining sufficient hygiene facilities for churches is not possible for all areas putting many at risk.
The Church of the Province of Myanmar has been actively involved in the work of the Myanmar Council of Churches COVID-19 Pandemic volunteer team, which was established at the end of April to support frontline healthcare staff to care for Covid patients. Please pray for protection from the virus, for the clergy and for Church leaders who have volunteered to serve in hospitals and medical centres.
The city of Yangon was placed into lockdown towards the end of September, including factories meaning many are out of work. Mandatory home working was introduced. Rakhine State, where there are thousands of internally displaced people, remains in lockdown since August.
Archbishop Stephen has also recorded a personal message to encourage prayer for our friends in Myanmar: