Archbishops of York and Canterbury invite people to pray as Covid-19 deaths pass 100,000

The Archbishop of York has invited people to pray in an open letter with the Archbishop of Canterbury. Credit: PA Images

The Archbishops of York and Canterbury have invited everyone in England to pause and reflect on those who have died after contracting Covid-19.

Archbishops Stephen Cottrell and Justin Welby have suggested people should think if the “enormity of this pandemic” and pray, whether they have faith or not.

They made the comments in an open letter to the nation as the death toll for those who have contracted Covid-19 passed 100,000.

They have said that death does not have “the last word” and that Christian faith promises that one day “every tear will be wiped away”.

The pair also acknowledge the wider impact of the pandemic on society through loneliness, anxiety and economic hardship, and invite people to “cast their fears on God”.

Their letter also notes the impact of the pandemic on poorer communities, minority ethnic communities and those living with disabilities.

The archbishops give thanks for NHS and social care staff, the development of vaccines and contains a call to everyone to take the vaccine when it is offered.

They also urge people to support each other both by following Government guidelines to limit the spread and in practical ways through "care and kindness".

The letter includes an invitation to join the archbishops in pausing and praying each day at 6pm from February 1.

They say:

They add:

The Church of England expects to hold services of remembrance for people who have died and thanksgiving for all those who have cared for them when restrictions make this possible.

The letter can be read in full here.