The archbishops have today (27 March) written to all clergy in the Church of England to reiterate their advice to stay at home and follow government advice.
Echoing government communications, they say the Church must lead by example and "stay home, protect the NHS and save lives."
The archbishops say: "We want to reiterate the advice we have already sent. The government is asking us to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. We call upon all our churches and church leaders, clergy and lay, to follow this advice.
"We are in a time of great fearfulness. The numbers of those becoming seriously ill and dying is increasing. It therefore remains very important that our churches remain closed for public worship and private prayer. The Church of England is called to model the very best practice. We must lead by example. Staying at home and demonstrating solidarity with the rest of the country at this testing time, is, we believe, the right way of helping and ministering to our nation. Therefore, for a season, the centre for the liturgical life of the church must be the home, not the church building."
They acknowledge that not being able to use our church buildings is, "of course, a huge loss to us all", but that streaming worship from home will show to others that the Church is, "facing up to the same restrictions... and we can take a lead in encouraging people to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. Moreover, to pray from and in the home may help us to show that the church is, as we all know, us, the people of God, not our buildings."
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, will lead a national worship service from the front room of his home this Sunday as Christians across the country - and around the world - adapt to restrictions to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The service will premiere on the Church of England’s Facebook page at 9am on Sunday and be available on playback immediately afterwards.
View our Coronavirus page on the diocesean website which has an archive of key announcements, statements, pastoral notes and changes to diocesan policy. You can also sign up to receive our regular Coronavirus Briefing.