From The Hub Covid-19 Weekly Update #10 Thursday 21st May, 2020
Another week passes and I write to you once again to update you on what, at times seem confusing messages coming out of Westminster. I continue to read daily the HM Government website for any changes to what we can and can’t do/allow and they contain many pages which you can read for yourselves. However, to save you hours of tedium I have attached below yesterday’s update kindly sent to us from Bishop Nicholas which highlights the main areas that concern ourselves as Church Communities.
The final paragraph picks out areas that contain more advice and you can read these by visiting the Diocesan website – https://www.salisbury.anglican.org, clicking on the Coronavirus icon and then choosing which topic you want to read. The Church Buildings information does outline that work to our buildings, which may have had to stop due to the pandemic, may now re-commence but under strict H&S guidelines particularly concerning ‘Safe Distancing’. I have read these thoroughly so please do not hesitate to contact me by phone and I will be happy to advise. I would like to say how grateful I am to Neville Adams LLM who acts as Health and Safety Advisor to the Team for his time in helping me through these issues.
Finally, whilst I cannot be in 14 places on Thursday night to ring the bell for NHS and Key Workers, the guidelines have been amended slightly this week to allow the person I have designated – that is the Churchwarden or key person in the parishes that have no CWs – to enter the churches to do so but only if the bell can be rung from ground level – no one must enter the ringing chamber to do so.
Latest Covid-19 Update 14th May 2020 to Clergy from the Bishop of Salisbury.
“Places of worship remain closed but opening them is high on the agenda for both the Government and the Church of England”
Current guidance on entering church buildings remains in force – only one member of the clergy and one member of their household.
- Churches: Remain closed and will not be open for worship in June
- Weddings: Churches are likely to open for weddings before they re-open for worship. This is likely to coincide with the re-opening of registry offices but will require strict procedures and rules to be put in place before this can happen.
- Funerals: There are no plans to change the current funeral guidance at the moment.
- Churchyards: May be regarded as open spaces and can now be opened subject to strict distancing rules being adopted. Notices should be displayed.
- Church Halls: Guidance for those halls which accommodate nursery schools will come out soon.
Parishes are the backbone of the Diocese. These pages contain useful information on structure, church buildings, clergy houses, children’s work, finance, safeguarding and much more. There’s also a handy ‘Find a Parish’ search, which you can use to find a church, Parish or priest, as well as contact details for your local Deanery or Parish Office.
Thank you for your continued support and prayers and Jo will update on matters of worship, prayer and school/children’s ministry.
Lots to report on worship this week. Today, Thursday 21 May, is Ascension Day. David has prepared a short act of worship for us to share. You can also join in with Salisbury Cathedral at 5.30pm for Ascension Day evensong and Radio 4 are broadcasting an Ascension Day service at 8pm this evening.
Thy Kingdom Come, a prayer initiative organised by the Archbishops, begins today and continues until Pentecost, 31 May. There are lots of suggestions on our website about ways you can join in praying. We have committed to an hour of prayer every day with churches all over the world. Pray between 7 and 8pm everyday for God’s Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven. You’ll find all the information you need on our The Kingdom Come page.
Our Sunday service will be available on this website on Saturday 23rd May. This week our theme is “waiting” as we remember the disciples waiting for the arrival of the Holy Spirit. If you would like to send a photo or message or even a short video clip to share in our weekly service, we would love to hear from you. Next week we will be celebrating Pentecost so any thoughts, photos or videos about your experience of the Holy Spirit would be great. Keep an eye on our Worship at Home page.
On the website this week we have also published an article by one of our partner priests, The Very Reverend David Shearlock about life after lockdown. It makes for an interesting read.
We now have fixed Zoom invites for our regular events: Thursday evening prayers and Sunday morning coffee. These links won’t change week by week, you can save the password and use it every time. But we will continue to put them on our website page too.
Thursday evening prayers 7pm https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83790192133?pwd=bWVsM0J2MnFWRnhsNnhTRXVPOGkzUT09
Sunday morning coffee 10am https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86981691918?pwd=TjN0S2Y3emtDVGU1UVdmaE5hM1ZvZz09
Do please stay in touch with us via email, phone or Facebook message as we so love to hear how you are and what God is doing in your life. We also have a confidential prayer list running, so if you want anyone to be prayed for please do let us know and we will add them to our list.
I have been thinking about how best to continue building community at this time of isolation. I’m wondering about a Walk in Wednesday coffee morning on Zoom (thanks for the suggestion Alastair) and we are also pondering an online bible study. What do you think?
– Every blessing, Jo