Dear Canon Turner,
I write at an exceptionally challenging time for our communities, and do so with the full support of the Chapter of York (the Governing Body of York Minster). We have held the people of New York in our prayers and extend to you our very best wishes.
The global Coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly brought pain, anguish and disturbance to our people. It has also, however, given us an opportunity to reflect on what matters most in our lives. It will be of some significance to see how community life resumes after Covid-19; and to discern if and where new priorities are being formed. For an Easter people even Coronavirus is unable to keep goodness and humanity down.
We have seen in our own context, green shoots of the resurrection of life emerging in renewed neighbourliness. It is also true to say, and I include myself in this observation, that the pandemic also brings out the degree to which each one of us is a “work in progress.” So as an antidote to self-sufficiency, self-interest and a narrow concern for our immediate circle it becomes increasingly important for each one of us –individually and in our communities -to reach out to friends near and far, and to build up the bonds of love that exist between us.
I have been made aware by our Director of Works & Precinct, Alex McCallion, of the developing relationship between our two great cities and between our two churches. It is in this context that I write to assure you of our prayers, and to express the hope that in the future we will be able to welcome our friends from St Thomas’ Church to the City of York and to the Minster which stands at its heart. Such is our hope and prayer.
Please would you convey my very good wishes to your colleagues and to the Christian community at St Thomas’ Church. If the opportunity arises, please assure those who serve New York so faithfully in the office of Mayor of our prayers and solidarity.
With best wishes,
The Rt Revd Dr Jonathan Frost. Dean of York