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:

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.

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.

19 Jun

A statement on the attack outside the Muslim Welfare Centre, Finsbury Park – on behalf of the Deanery of Hounslow (CofE):

My Friends

Last week we had the pleasure of meeting as fellow faith community leaders from across the Borough of Hounslow.

We committed ourselves, once again, to building healthy relationships of mutual respect and appreciation between communities and individuals of different faiths and cultures. We found ourselves in agreement across faiths about the importance of countering extremism, speaking out against hatred, building mutual understanding and remaining open and welcoming worshiping communities.

In that context it was especially heartbreaking to read with growing horror, early reports this morning of the attack outside the Muslim Welfare House in Finsbury Park.

On behalf of Church of England parishes across the Borough, I join the Rt Revd Adrian Newman, Bishop of Stepney, in condemning the horrific attack.

As Bishop Adrian said: “An attack on any faith is an attack on us all. As a Church, we stand together with Finsbury Park Mosque, in the wake of this morning’s appalling news. It sadly comes after a weekend, in memory of Jo Cox MP, that celebrated all that brings us together, and I know that the Mosque, hand-in-hand with other local faith and community groups, was at the heart of events in the Finsbury Park area. We will offer up our churches to help our friends at the Mosque in any way we can. We will not be cowed by those who seek to terrorise our communities.”

I will be supporting my clergy colleagues as we reach out in friendship to local Muslim centres of worship and express our solidarity and support.

Our heartfelt prayer continues to be that people of every race, culture and creed should have the freedom to worship and live as members of local communities here without fear of threat or prejudice. We will continue to do all we can to foster a society where this is the experience of every person.

RSF signature

Rev Richard Frank
Hounslow Area Dean
19th June 2017

02 Dec

Older People and the Church – Sian Brookes (AgeUK) at Deanery Synod – Nov 2016