22 Jun

Daily Hope – Ministering among Seniors

Dear Friends,

I wanted to take a moment to recommend Daily Hope, especially for those of you who are ministering to the elderly during this time.

Daily Hope is a free phone line (0800 804 8044) which offers a simple ministry to those who might struggle to access services and prayers online. We know churches across the country have risen to the challenge of engaging many creatively online with worship and prayer during lockdown. We were also aware that this also highlighted the ‘digital divide’ between those for whom the online world comes easily and others for whom it is inaccessible and alien. We know that less than a quarter of over 75 year olds regularly engage in online platforms and so wanted to make sure they weren’t excluded from worship in a time of isolation.That’s where Daily Hope comes in.

Daily Hope is an example of a great working together across the church – backed by the Archbishops’ Council – to deliver a solution to a real need. Specialists whose vocation is to minister amongst ‘seniors’, those who have got great tech skills, liturgists and musicians, those from Comms and the Evangelism and Witness team at Lambeth Palace gathered together at the beginning of April to see if they could make this happen.

On the 26th of April the free phoneline was launched. The line offers each caller a number of options – a collection of well-known hymns, the stories behind the hymns, joining in with Morning or Evening Prayer, or receiving the latest relevant public health advice. Since it launched, Daily Hope has received over 150,000 calls totalling 1.7 million minutes from nearly 38,000 unique callers. Callers receive a welcome from Archbishop Justin and then a series of options.Feedback has been hugely positive.

My mum is 89 and suffers from macular degeneration. She is living alone nearly 200 miles from us without internet access, and, like many at this time, is feeling extremely depressed and isolated. A few weeks ago I told her about the phone line ‘Daily Hope’. I can’t begin to tell you how much she appreciates this initiative. It has brought her such comfort, and I know that she spends many hours listening to it, particularly in the night when she’s unable to sleep.”

Stories like this make it all worthwhile and we’d love it if you can pass out the details of this wonderful service to those in your congregation who could benefit. You can read more on the Church of England website here.

Do continue to let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you during this time.

27 May

Guidance from the House of Bishops Recovery Group

*This page was edited on the 6th of June with updated documents, please check to make sure that you have the most up to date guidance to hand

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

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: