Anglican Communion goes digital as Christians around the world stay at home for Easter

11 April 2020

Streamed worship services and a social media campaign are amongst the measures being adopted by the Anglican Communion in response to the restrictions of movement facing people in vast parts of the world. The Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, the Most Revd Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, will lead a digital Easter Sunday service – the third video-based worship service produced by the Anglican Communion Office since the lock-down began. And Anglicans around the world will take part in a #GlobalSonRise campaign on Twitter.

The Anglican Communion Office is the London, UK-based secretariat of the worldwide Anglican Communion – a family of 40 regional and national churches located around the globe. The Churches of the Anglican Communion are present in more than 165 countries and together have tens of millions of members. The Anglican Communion Office comprises staff from the Anglican Consultative Council, the Lambeth Conference and the Anglican Alliance.

This week’s video-based service was recorded by Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon in the gardens of Lambeth Palace, the official London residence of the Archbishops of Canterbury, where he lives. The homily is given by the Dean of Canterbury Cathedral, the Very Revd Robert Willis; and Canon Maggie Swinson, a member of the Church of England’s General Synod and Vice Chair of the Anglican Consultative Council, leads the intercessions.

The readings have an international flavour: Psalm 114 is read in Wichi by Lay Reader Diego Mendez from the Diocese of Northern Argentina in the Anglican Church of South America; Romans 6: 3-11 is read in Portuguese by the Right Revd Jorge Pina Cabral, Bishop of the Lusitanian Church; and Matthew 28: 1-10 is read in Kiswahili, by the Right Revd Joel Waweru, Bishop of Nairobi in the Anglican Church of Kenya.

The songs include a new hymn written by the Bishop of Western Kowloon in the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, the Right Revd Andrew Chan, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic: Star-lit heaven to bounteous mountain.

The service will be available on YouTube and Facebook from 7pm GMT on Saturday 11 April; and from anglicancommunion.org/worship.

In addition to the service, the communications team at the Anglican Communion Office have coordinated a #GlobalSonRise social media campaign, and has collated brief video messages from many parts of the world. They have asked Anglicans to Tweet an Easter affirmation – “Christ is Risen” at 5am in their local time zones.

Some messages will be published from the Anglican Communion Office’s own @AnglicanWorld Twitter account – including at 6pm GMT when a Solomon Islands Sunday School will send Easter greetings to children in Anglican Sunday Schools around the world.