’We are at war fighting an invisible enemy’, but ’we will win’, says the Lord Bishop of Sodor and Man.

Peter Eagles gave an Easter Sunday message to the Manx public this afternoon (Sunday) as part of the daily press conferences.

He encouraged residents to do what is right during the pandemic, as it will lead to a ’victory’ in the future.

He said: ’The Chief Minister has rightly said that we are at war fighting an invisible enemy and that is absolutely correct.

’Now I’m not an expert on war fighting, but I know that military doctrine tells us that fighting power has three components to it: there is a physical component; there is a conceptual component and there is a moral component.

’The moral component of fighting power is the people and in the case of an army it is that ethos which gives soldiers the will and courage to fight.’

This, he said, was the most important of all components.

He then put it into the perspective of the current situation of battling coronavirus, describing the physical components as the hospital wards that are ’staffed by the amazingly courageous health workers and health professionals who serve us’, plus PPE, testing kits and medicine.

The conceptual fighting power would be government, its departments, the Council of Ministers, the civil service, and Tynwald which carry out the planning and strategy.

’The moral component of fighting power is you. It is us, it is the Manx people. It is all of us together and the ethos, the spirit and the resilience that we share as an island community,’ he said.

’It is on the strength of that we will win this war.’

The spirit, ethos and resilience has been ’shaped and formed by our spiritual tradition, which over centuries has taught us a lot about what it means to live in a society that is open and generous,’ he said.

’Perhaps I might say on Easter Sunday that the central truth of our spiritual tradition is the great story of Easter and the resurrection of death of Christ.

’That teaches us that there will be a cost to these things and we know that. But it teaches us that nothing that is of value is achieved without a struggle. Nothing that is of value comes without cost.

’As we make our way through that struggle so we achieve something wonderful we achieve victory over that invisible enemy.’

When asked about churches having their doors closed, he replied: ’I long for the day when our churches are open again. The decision to close the churchyards was a really difficult one, but at the moment there is only one thing that matters and that is saving lives.’