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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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: email@example.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.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
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
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.”
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.