Coronavirus Advice

Published: 20th May 2020

A page bringing together the latest advice and resources for parishes during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Click on the headings below to find out more.

Church of England & Government guidance

As a diocese, we are following the guidance from the Church of England. You can find this at www.churchofengland.org/coronavirus - please check it regularly as it is updated constantly. 

Advice from Government: 

Action with Communities in Rural England has this sample risk assessment for community halls.

 

Funerals

There is a temporary arrangement within the Diocese to support funeral ministry. Read advice on funerals during the Coronavirus pandemic.
 
The Vicar of Broadway has also put together a booklet for those who are unable to attend a funeral.

Playgroups/ preschools in church halls

The Government has said that those offering early years' childcare provision can prepare to open from 1 June. Parishes can, if they wish, allow playgroups and preschools to meet in their church halls with the group following all appropriate measures with regard to hygiene and distancing. Read the Government's advice re: implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings.

Out of school childcare provision

The Prime Minister confirmed in his announcement on 23 June, that providers who run community activities, holiday clubs, after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school provision for children can operate over the summer holiday. Read the latest guidance.  (Depending on the setting the guidance for places of worship or multi-use community buildings must also be followed.) 

Registers

While churches are closed, no entries are required in the Register of Services. However, you may with to include the following in the Service Register:

The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), otherwise known as COVID-19, is an infectious disease first identified in China. Infections were reported around the world with symptoms including fever, coughing and breathing difficulties. As a consequence, the UK government advised many changes to everyday life for a time, which was further endorsed by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Church buildings were closed for public worship, private prayer and all other meetings and activities. The last service in this Church was on XXXXXXXXX and worship was able to resume [in a limited way] on YYYYYYYYY. In the intervening time we became the Church in different ways, specifically ….. INSERT ACTIVITY.

Posters

We have produced the following posters for you to print out and use in your churches. 

The Church of England has also got a number of posters & banners which can displayed inside and outside your church. Find them here.

Annual Parochial Church meetings

The bishop has made special provision extending the time for holding the annual meeting of parishioners to choose churchwardens and annual parochial church meetings (APCMs) to 30 November 2020.  The terms of office of churchwardens and PCC members will end at the APCM as usual, the terms of office for Deanery Synod members will end on 30th November 2020. 

You can hold the APCM physically in a church or a church hall if the guidance for the safe opening of these buildings is followed and good physical distancing and hygiene measures are employed. If that is not possible, another option is to hold the meeting remotely using video conferencing software, or in mixed mode online and physically.

Read the full special provision

Liturgy and prayer resources

The Church of England has put together prayers and intercessions for personal or group use, special prayers for use if it isn’t possible to meet in church, and a simple form of prayer for the morning and evening, which can be downloaded, printed, and shared with those remaining at home or who are unable to access the Internet.

Children's Officer, Emma Pettifer, has compiled some ideas and resources for families to be able to worship at home and Youth Officer, Simon Hill has pulled together a list of resources for those working with young people.  

Other resources

Safeguarding

The safeguarding team continue to be available via email and mobile and will respond to all urgent matters within 24 hours, and other queries as soon as possible. 

Please use this link for advice issued from the National Team regarding support for parishes, volunteers, and DBS checks.

Connecting with your church virtually

You may wish to connect with your congregation through your website/ Facebook page or a Youtube channel to enable people to access church when they're not able to leave home. Have a look at our resources to help your church to connect with its congregation and community digitally.

The Church of England has produced this beginners' guide to live streaming your services.

Youth Officer, Simon Hill has put together this guide to video conferencing with young people and Children's Officer, Emma Pettifer has put together a guide to video conferencing with Primary School age children.  

If you have built up an online congregation, it's important to keep reaching these people even if the church doors are open.

Keeping your church clean

Parish Buying (the buying service set up by the Church of England and Church in Wales) have launched ranges of hygiene, cleaning and PPE supplies with preferential rates negotiated with national suppliers. Find out more  

Church Buildings Officer, Mark Carter has written this blog on re-entering church buildings when they've been closed.

Diocesan Office

The Diocesan Office is now gradually reopening, although the majority of staff are still working from home. If you need to contact a member of the diocesan office team, email is the best option in the first instance. 

Please see this document for how best to direct any query relating to the Coronavirus pandemic. 

View the risk assessment for the Diocesan Office

Guidance for visiting hospitals

Hospital communities - patients, families and staff will be glad of the prayers of the Diocese, as they face challenging situations and difficult decisions.

Read the latest guidance for visiting Worcestershire Acute hospitals in Kidderminster, Redditch and Worcester.

Update on schools

The Department for Education's (DfE) Coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about Covid-19 relating to education and children's social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline by telephone on 0800 046 8687 from 8am - 6pm, Monday to Friday and 10am - 4pm, Saturday and Sunday. If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UK PRN) available when calling the hotline. 

The Diocesan Education Team have compiled guidance and resources for schools and home-learning into one document. 

'Never the Same', a bereavement, grief and loss resource for school leaders, has been developed as part of the Church of England's Faith at Home initiative. It is rooted in the Church of England's vision for education and offers a combination of theological reflections, practical ideas for engaging with children and young people, and signposting to the vast range of resources that are already available. Visit the Church of England's website for further details about Faith at Home

 


Page last updated: 21st September 2020 11:43 AM
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