In the coming weeks, COVID19 vaccines will be available in Australia. This is good news.

Overseas evidence is showing that the immunisation program is reducing the number of hospital admissions and reducing the severity of illnesses arising from the virus. This also is wonderful news.

At the heart of the Christian understanding of human relationships is God’s command, emphasised through his Son Jesus, that we are ‘to love our neighbour’. This is captured in the Anglican Mark of Mission, ‘to respond to human need by loving service’. You may have seen pictures of the Archbishop Justin of Canterbury receiving his vaccination and heard that Pope Francis has also been immunised.

I strongly encourage all Anglicans and all citizens, to be vaccinated when the opportunity for them to do so arises as part of the Commonwealth Government vaccination roll out. Every person should do so on the basis of any advice they receive from their medical practitioner.

Please continue to pray for those affected by or responding to COVID as well as those who have the responsibility of ensuring our community is safe for all people.

To the read the full pastoral letter by the Bishop of Newcastle please click here.

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