27 May

Guidance from the House of Bishops Recovery Group

Dear Friends, 

Further to the update we did last week on the House of Bishops Recovery Group I am pleased to be able to share with you some more detailed resources to help plan for Government restrictions relating to the coronavirus pandemic being eased. Please note that we have yet to receive the definitive Government guidance so this may still change.

As you’ll remember we have been working on a suite of resources.  Along with the two advice papers shared on Friday (on access for contractors and building work), this first set of advice papers relate to  the current restrictions affecting buildings, and can be put into use now. These include;

In addition, however, I’m sharing with you some papers setting out advice on how activities not yet permitted might be carried out safely when the time comes.  I want to emphasise that these papers are very much intended to help with forward planning and not as definitive guides. We obviously do not yet know the exact timing and sequencing by which Government restrictions may be eased and there could still be significant changes to advice, but these are intended to help churches plan based on the best information we have. They include advice on:

 During the course of next week, Parish Buying will begin to make available cleaning, handwash and other supplies in preparation for the gradual re-opening of places of worship , and will be sharing information about this in their monthly newsletter.
If you have any questions about these measures, please contact mark.betson@churchofengland.org.  

With every blessing,

21 May

Guidance on using contractors during the Pandemic

Hi Friends,

Just a quick update today! Following the House of Bishops meeting this week, please find attached new guidance papers which will also be published on the CofE website tomorrow. Do let me know if you have any questions that I can assist with!

Guidance for Churches on Construction work is here

Guidance for on using Professional Contractors is here

Many thanks,

Sarah

22 Apr

Updates and Useful information 20th April 2020

Dear Friends,

Following Thursday’s Zoom meeting, below is a list of important information for clergy to know during the current COVID-19 outbreak. This is a long email, but please do read through to the end!

Funeral Information

  • Funerals are currently being organised locally by Funeral Directors. The centralised system is available, but most people are just using the normal means of contacting clergy. If you are isolating and unable to do any funerals at the moment or have more than you’ve got capacity for, please email me as we can help to share the load.
  • Funeral Fees are currently waived. This is an expectation rather than guidance and applies whether the deceased is a COVID19 death or not. Please make sure your local Funeral Director’s know about this.
  • Funeral Pastoral Care for Clergy is available in the Kensington area from John Ryeland. He can put you in touch with a wide range of services that might prove helpful, such as a listening ear, prayer, psychotherapy and more. Email: john.ryeland@london.anglican.org
  • New Funeral Standards have now been released by London’s Strategic Coordination Group (SCG), please do familiarise yourself with them (available here) and let me know if you have any questions. The press release from SCG is here
  • Liturgy for Thanksgiving and Memorial Services for future use are currently being put together. Watch this space for the update on this along with any new liturgy.

Community Care

  • The Food Bank at St Paul’s Hounslow has capacity to deliver more widely so do refer people if you need to. The Referral pack isavailable here.
  • They would also appreciate additional volunteers to sort the food into bags in preparation to be collected/delivered. If anyone has volunteers who are under 70 and don’t have any underlying health conditions please email Revd Claire Clarke with their name, email address and telephone number so they can be added to the list of volunteer helpers.
  • Do people in your community need meals? Working with charities, the landlord of the Anglers Pub in Teddington is making meals that are frozen and can be delivered to vulnerable or older people who are isolating. Delivery and collection are available. They are still working out the logistics, but if you want to know more please click here, or contact Ben (07921 331508) or Jamie (07900 681167).
  • Looking for more sources of help? The Hounslow Rotary Club has put together this useful document that outline areas you can go to for different problems

TrainingBuilding Church during the COVID19 crisis. This week’s zoom, on Thursday 23rd at 2pm, will be an hour with Daniel Mackintosh, from Citizens, focusing on Community Organising and Congregational Life.

How could our congregations be different coming out of Covid19? We barely had a chance to plan upon entering this crisis, but we can plan for how we come out of it. Churches are adapting and finding new ways to grow and deepen in this moment. To build on that join us for an hour to share stories of how community organising, through organising charity Citizens UK, has been used to strengthen congregational life, develop those who have stepped up to leadership and inspire innovation in church practice.

Join the  Zoom Meeting on Thursday 23rd of April at 2pm
Click this link (https://zoom.us/j/334060828) or use the meeting ID: 334 060 828

Financial Support

  • Giving to Churches. Churches are taking different approaches to encourage ongoing financial giving from the congregation during this crisis. Some are putting links to giving pages/ via church suite on their website, another church is using DONATE by text to encourage people to give as they don’t seem to take a percentage (details can be found here), others are putting BACS information on church emails so that people are encouraged to keep giving, despite not being at church.
  • Helping people during the Crisis. Capital Mass has published this guidance to helping people financially during this crisis, we really do encourage taking a look through.


If you’re not on the clergy WhatsApp group please send me an email with your mobile and I’ll add you to the group.

I hope to see as many of you as possible on Thursday 23rd at 2pm for the training on Building Church during the COVID crisis.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch,

07 Apr

Funeral Guidance during the Covid-19 Outbreak

Thank you so much to everyone who has volunteered to help with funerals during this difficult time. For your information, with effect from 6 April 2020, the London Diocesan Fund authorises parishes and their clergy to waive all fees for funerals, whether due to the PCC, or Diocese.  This is due to the COVID 19 / Coronavirus, and will be in place until 30 June 2020 when this matter will be considered again.
At the bottom of this post, please see four documents supplied by the diocese to assist in your funeral arrangements during this time. The areas we would like to highlight to you are:
  • The Central point of contact for all churches in the Diocese of London: funerals@london.anglican.org / 020 3837 5008 from Wednesday 8th April, from 8am to 10pm 7 days a week.
  • Every funeral should have a celebrant
  • Shortened services – see Funeral Ministry Info below
  • Pass the details of funerals you take to keiron.ronan@london.anglican.org
  • Consider Memorial services at a later date

Funeral Ministry Information. The updated briefing paper that has been issued to Area Deans is available here.

Funeral Directors.  For details of a central funeral line for you to pass to your local funeral directors at your discretion please click here

Clergy Support Team. A list of those available to support clergy who are officiating at funerals is available here.

Supporting Ministers in Funeral Ministry. The notes from Hilary Ison for those taking funerals can be found here.

31 Mar

Updates and Useful Information 31st March 2020

Church Support Hub has baptism, wedding & funeral and bereavement resources from CofE online:
https://churchsupporthub.org/baptisms/occasions-for-follow-up/life-events-during-the-covid-19-crisis/

Funeral and bereavement resources on main CofE website:
https://www.churchofengland.org/life-events/funerals/clergy-funeral-and-bereavement-resources

For those doing Crem Duty, the following should be noted:

  • They should be fit and well themselves.
  • They should not have anyone vulnerable in their household.
  • They should take all reasonable precautions for their own wellbeing.
  • They should be prepared for little notice and minimal information of the details of the deceased.
  • They should be prepared for a severely shortened length for the funeral service.
  • Details of CofE texts and notes for these circumstances can be found on the CofE website (here)
  • Full details of each funeral taken to be passed to a central record to ensure follow up. Please send to keiron.ronan@london.anglican.org
  • They should be made aware of the support available to them.

Funeral Fees: It is likely that a blanket permission will be issued to waive funeral fees.

Funeral Ministry: Some thoughts from a trauma-informed perspective on supporting ministers in funeral ministry during the Covid-19 Crisis are available here

Church Print Hub resources for printing or order: https://www.churchprinthub.org

Finance: Encourage churches is to be in touch with Mary Spredbury about finance. This document from the CofE helpfully sets out all the key government financial measures which could apply to churches and institutions: Link to Document here

What comes next: This is a thought-provoking piece on thinking beyond this first phase to what comes next (written by one of ‘our’ clergy): Read Here

Online / Video tutorials – Tutorials on Zoom and Googlemeet: https://www.christchurchkensington.com/softwarehelp and 7 Hints & Tips for speaking to a camera:

14 Mar

Coronavirus Planning and Resources for Clergy

Some useful links and resources to save:

General Advice

  • Church of England page: keep checking this – support if you need to make unpopular decisions, and clear boundaries within which to make good local decisions. Additional detail on London Diocese page.
  • Official UK Government Advice.
  • Catering: Exeter Diocese has helpful informal (i.e. not mandatory) guidance – thanks to Sarah for passing them on. PDF here.

Financial Issues

  • If you have any questions relating to financial issues due to the Corona Virus outbreak, please see the latest newsletter from the Diocese of London Finance Team here.

Church and Community

Online – or on the phone – Church

  • While services are still happening – but some are having to stay away – here’s how to set up your church for live streaming.
  • Start thinking about to connect with people who do not have access to social media? Prayers by post, phonecalls (pairing people up to pray together each morning on the phone?) etc…
  • If services cease for a while, think now about how you might keep connecting with the congregation – would they benefit from a daily email with prayer, a regular blog or a weekly webcast?
  • And don’t forget the CofE Prayer for the Day online (and on Alexa).
19 Nov

Counter-Extremism Training

Sophie Lawrence, Counter-Extremism adviser for the Borough of Hounslow, is offering training for deanery clergy and key volunteers (for example in community-facing projects). She describes the training this way:

Understanding the developing threat of extremism should be a priority for all who work with the community and understanding how to report a concern is paramount.

Counter Extremism Awareness training refers to the national and local extremist threat picture and the local resources available to you for support.

We touch on extremist groups who have been active in recent history to groups active in the present day and look at groups that are becoming a growing concern. We consider the impact of Prevent and the shift in extremist threat in the wake of Brexit. We look at the warnings signs that could suggest someone is being radicalised, which is becoming more and more challenging to tackle due to the use of online propaganda and social media as a recruitment method.

There will be plenty of time for discussion as this is a very significant and sensitive topic which has seen copious amounts of mixed media coverage this year with the government review of the Prevent Strategy and the Counter Extremism Strategy.”

Sophie Lawrence

If you’re interested in this training, please do drop Kat, Deanery Secretary, a line using the form below. We can then liaise over timings.

01 Oct

Autumn Deanery Synod: an Evening with Bishop Graham

We are delighted that The Bishop of Kensington, the Rt Revd Dr Graham Tomlin will be joining us for the next Deanery Synod, to be held at 7.30pm on the 4th of December. The event will be hosted by Christ Church Feltham.

Bishop Graham is going, among other things, to speak about and officially launch the Deanery Mission to be held in the Borough of Hounslow, across our churches, in June 2020.

If you would like to register your interest in this event, please click here to allow the wonderful team at Christ Church to cater appropriately. We look forward to seeing you there!

15 Jan

The Power of Invitation

The Power of Invitation

7.30pm Monday February 4th 2018 – St Michaels Church, Elmwood Road, W4 3DY

Join us at the first Deanery Synod of 2019 where Hounslow Deanery Synod is delighted to host international speaker Michael Harvey. Michael has spoken to thousands of church leaders in his Seminars and has to date seen hundreds of thousands of Christians mobilised to invite others to church services and events. He launched the first National Weekend of Invitation in June 2018 and is author of the books ‘Unlocking the Growth’ and ‘Creating a Culture of Invitation’. As an itinerant speaker he has a ministry across 18 countries and 5 continents and in February he will join us to unwrap the topic of evangelism in a whole new way.

Following Michael’s talk we will have time  time for questions, and the sharing of resources and good practice. As always, we will finish by 9pm.

If you would like to register your interest please sign up here

17 Jan

Good News for All Creation – Joint Synod

Resourcing the local church to take action…

7.30pm Tuesday February 6th 2018 – All Souls Church, TW1 1PBHounslow, Hampton & Spelthorne Deanery Synods are delighted to host a joint open meeting to hear from A Rocha. The Christian charity works for the protection and restoration of the natural world as a response to the biblical mandate to care for the earth, and to demonstration the Christian hope for God’s world.

A Rocha’s new CEO Andy Atkins will be speaking about their work: practical involvement in conservation through projects and research; campaigning on biodiversity & also engaging with churches, schools, communities and individuals.

Helen Stephens (until recently Hounslow Deanery Secretary) will also be speaking. She is A Rocha’s new Church Relations Manager and works with local churches particularly as they work towards the Eco Church awards.

The evening will feature time for questions, discussion and the sharing of resources and good practice. We will finish by 9pm.

This Synod meeting is open to all interested church members, not simply Synod Representatives.

Please note that parking is limited around the church. Do aim to come by public transport (St Margarets Station & the H37 bus) or leave extra time to park.

Find out more about A Rocha at arocha.org.uk and download a pdf to pass on to others.