Scotland

Coronavirus: Prince William praises kirk's response

Church interior Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Churches have been empty since the coronavirus lockdown was imposed

Prince William has said the Church of Scotland has "reinvented itself" in dealing with the Covid-19 crisis.

The prince should have been at the kirk's general assembly next month in his role as Lord High Commissioner.

But the annual meeting of the church's governing body has been cancelled to help reduce the spread of disease.

With churches across the country closed for the foreseeable future, they have found new ways of reaching members, including online services.

Ahead of Easter Sunday the prince wrote to the Right Reverend Colin Sinclair, the outgoing moderator of the Assembly, praising the work of the Kirk in "this extremely challenging time".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption William and his wife Catherine have also used new ways of keeping in touch with people

In his letter he says: "As we approach Easter, I wanted to acknowledge how difficult a time this must be for the Church of Scotland and your ministries.

"You have had to close your churches at the very moment when you normally come together, and when your communities need you the most.

"It is heartening to see how the Church of Scotland, like so many other faith communities across the country, is re-inventing itself digitally to continue providing worship, support and guidance for your congregations.

"I have no doubt that this support, as well as other means of offering help, is hugely appreciated at this extremely challenging time, particularly by the elderly, vulnerable, those economically affected and of course those who have so tragically lost family and friends.

"I am sure that this continuing connection and support will be particularly welcomed this Easter weekend."

In his reply, Mr Sinclair said: "As we approach Easter I was delighted to receive as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland a letter from Prince William, the Earl of Strathearn.

"His Royal Highness was due to be Lord High Commissioner at this year's General Assembly, before it had to be cancelled because of Covid-19.

"The Church of Scotland is sorry not to be able to welcome him back to Scotland, where he went to university, but we appreciate him taking time to write to us and are grateful for his interest, concern and support."