But they called on the Church to “continue to pray, to love, to care for the vulnerable”.
It follows the announcement by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson of sweeping restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.
It means all Church of England churches will close with immediate effect in line with the Government’s instructions. There will also be no Church weddings or baptisms.
Funerals at the graveside or in crematoriums can still take place, but only in line with the Prime minister’s Statement.
In a joint statement the bishops said: “In the light of the Government’s measures, announced by the Prime Minister this evening, we urge everyone to follow the instructions given.
“We will give a fuller statement of advice as soon as possible. Let us continue to pray, to love, to care for the vulnerable, and build our communities, even while separated.”
- Detailed advice and guidance to churches on coronavirus is available on the Church of England website.