Today’s update is just a quick message to take a look at the government guidance on the safe use of community facilities. So many of us use our church buildings not just for worship but as community spaces and it’s important to take guidance to keep these spaces both safe and welcoming during this time.
The speed with which things are changing means that any detail I might write about re-opening our churches & buildings could be out-of-date within days (hours?)…
However, the main CofE Covid-19 page contains links to all the relevant guidance (church and government) and is updated very regularly. In the meantime, a few key links to note and use:
Weddings : I have written a one page guide on the legal preliminaries for marriage to go alongside CofE and Government guidance. It contains contact details for the Kensington Area Surrogates, plus up-to-date information on fees.
CofE guidance on risk assessments is crucial as the main way in which we can ensure that we mitigate the risks of opening when the virus is still around and by which we can keep within the bounds of Health & Safety legislation.
If in doubt, do contact your Area Dean Sarah Guinness and/or me – between us we’ll find a sensible way through the complications and questions that we’re all dealing with.
Praying for wisdom, energy, and grace in the coming days.
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!
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: firstname.lastname@example.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.
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
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.
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: email@example.com / 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
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!
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