COVID 19 UPDATES/NEWS
Friday 05 March, 2021
Following the Prime Minister's
statement to the Commons outlining the Government's spring response,
the Bishop of London has responded
Our current guidance on
the four-step roadmap reflects the information we have on the upcoming changes
understanding that the dates given are indicative and that further information may not be available until we approach each step.
We continue to work with the Government through the Places of Worship Taskforce and will update our guidance on this website as soon as new information is published by the Government.
Coronavirus reopening roadmap: comment from the Bishop of London
The Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, who chairs the Church of England’s Coronavirus Recovery Group, has responded following the Prime Minister’s statement to Parliament.
She said: “I am grateful to the Prime Minister for sharing these proposals to ease the current restrictions in a way which gives us all some clarity and enables people to begin to plan.
“We will study the details and, working with Government Departments, refine our own advice for local churches in the weeks ahead. We all look forward to being able to meet in larger groups again later this year and today’s announcement will be especially encouraging for couples planning weddings, among others.
“When the first lockdown was introduced last year, we were – as we are now – in the midst of Lent, a time of preparation and self-reflection for Christians as we look forward with hope to Easter and its promise of new life in Jesus Christ.
“This has been an incredibly testing time for the whole world – most of all the loved ones of those who have died. The financial cost of the pandemic has been enormous, and we will never truly know the cost of separation and loneliness on individuals and society.
“But we have also seen remarkable signs of hope. The rapid development and distribution of vaccines has been a phenomenal achievement and I want to thank everyone involved in the process.
“The way in which people have reached out to others has been inspirational.
"Our churches have loved and served their neighbours perhaps like never before and found ways to meet and worship God together we would not have imagined just a year ago.
“As we look ahead to the prospect of easing of restrictions we know it is still a long road. Yet Easter reminds us we always have hope.”
Church of England advice
will be updated in accordance to the guidance at each stage
The Government has announced a formal tiering review, whereby more areas have been elevated to tiers 4 and 3.
The guidance for places of worship within tiers has not changed at this time, and public worship may continue in all tiers,
in line with the Government guidance.
We are also conscious of those who will not wish to attend a church building in light of increased numbers of cases,
as well as churches who for different reasons cannot currently safely accommodate public worship.
Many churches continue to offer local streamed worship, together with national online weekly worship and daily audio prayer services via the Time to Pray app and podcast, and the Daily Hope telephone line for any who are unable to access the internet.
See church online for
In a joint statement, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, who chairs the Church of England’s Covid Recovery Group, have urged people to be “exceptionally careful” and said clergy and others who are shielding should feel “no compulsion” to attend public worship.
The statement said:
The news of fresh restrictions in many areas will be a bitter blow. For many people, it will mean spending Christmas Day alone.
We know that public worship - both in person and through remote means - has brought comfort, hope and inspiration to so many.
So we are grateful that,
even in Tier 4, church buildings can be open this Christmas.
But I urge everyone to take precautions and, especially for those in Tier 4, to be exceptionally careful.
Even though attending
public worship is permitted, many people may feel it is currently better they
do not do so.
Clergy and others who are shielding should certainly feel no compulsion.
Bishop Sarah, who Chairs the Church of England's Recovery Group, said:
"We are encouraged by the confirmation that places of worship will soon be able to reopen for public worship
in all tiers and in all parts of the country.
"Churches and cathedrals can now approach Advent and Christmas with more certainty; a
time when we know many people will look forward to attending services celebrating the birth of Jesus.
"We await more detailed guidance and will update our own advice once this is published."
October 31st 2020
the announcement by the Prime Minister of new restrictions to limit the spread
of Covid-19, the Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, chair of the Church of
England’s Recovery Group said:
“We acknowledge the announcement from the Prime Minister this evening of a second national ‘lockdown’ in England.
“We will study the detailed regulations when they are published and seek clarification on how this may affect public worship
“This is a time of real uncertainty for everyone and the Church will continue to be central
to the life of our communities in bring light and hope.”
Following the announcement on Monday October 12 of a new three-tier risk alert system for COVID-19, we understand that Places of Worship can remain open at all Tiers – although at the ‘high’ and ‘very high’ Tiers there should be no mixing between households.
This recognises the important role churches and other places of worship continue to play in serving their communities and providing vital comfort and support to people amid very difficult times.
However, we fully appreciate the scale of the threat from COVID-19 and recognise the vigilance that places of worship will need to continue to practice in order to minimise the possibility of spread of the virus.
We will study Government detailed Government guidance when it is available and amend our advice as necessary.
Can baptisms still go ahead?
Baptisms are possible
providing appropriate steps are taken to minimise risk.
If the baptism is taking place as part of a regular act of worship the usual requirements for public worship apply (see 'The Rule of six' FAQ section).
From the 28th September, standalone life events will be subject to the ‘rule of six’ limits.
We are seeking Government clarification on this and will update our guidance once detailed documentation is published.
Public worship can continue. There is an exemption that covers places of worship making it possible for more than six people to gather for acts of communal worship. However, it is not a blanket exemption. People must not be part of a group of more than six unless they are from the same household or support bubble.
Following indications that the number of people permitted to take part in a social gathering is to be reduced from 30 to six in England, we understand the new regulations will not apply to public worship or individual prayer in church buildings.
From 4th July, the Government has allowed resumption of public worship with maximum 30 people
St John’s church
for private prayer on Saturday’s has now been suspended.
Wednesday’s will continue 1.30-2.30pm.
Sunday 5th July, a simple half hour Holy Eucharist will resume at 9.45am.
Hand sanitizing and social distancing of 2 metres must be observed,
plus a one way system in the church.
If you come to worship please note the signs and further instructions.
Many will not feel ready to return to our church buildings just yet and
this is very understandable.
The over 70’s and the clinically vulnerable are to be aware of the risks,
whilst the final decision to attend remains with them.
The Holy Eucharist by Zoom has proved to be popular during lockdown.
This will continue for those who would prefer this and will take place
on Sunday’s at the later time of 11.45am. Invites as usual will go out.
>> Sermons will continue to be on the website and Facebook <<
All parishes can now complete a risk assessment to help them prepare to re-open their church building(s).
22nd Durham Diocese Covid 19
Tuesday 5th June
Whilst some Government
guidance has been revised, it is still vital that the necessary hygiene and
social distancing precautions are kept in place in order to protect the NHS
and save lives.
Thursday 2nd May 2020
FORMAL COVID-19 UPDATES
COVID-19 Update 16 - HOLY WEEK & EASTER
COVID-19 Update 15 - SAFEGUARDING
Palm Sunday Reflection
• You can download the VIDEO for today’s reflection here.
• You can download the AUDIO for today’s reflection here.
• You can download the text here: Palm Sunday talk only.docx
Monday of Holy Week Reflection and resources.
• You can download the VIDEO for today’s reflection here.
• You can download the AUDIO for today’s reflection here.
• You can download the text here: Monday in Holy Week.docx
SPRING HARVEST GOES DIGITAL
Like many events and activities, Spring Harvest is having to do things differently this year.
It is putting together ‘Spring Harvest Home’ which will be free and accessible through their YouTube channel in the week after Easter (13th-17th April) and will include teaching, live worship, all-age activities and fun for all the family.
The theme this year is ‘Unleashed: The Acts Church Today’. Whether or not you have been to Spring Harvest, this promises to be a great event to engage with – from your living room! Introduction.
COVID-19 RESOURCES AND
This page contains the latest information and resources regarding the COVID-19 situation and our Churches.
Here you will find resources
• Children & Young People
• COVID-19 letters and communications
https://durhamdiocese.org/covid-19 - copy & paste
LIVE STREAMING SERVICES
A list of services, prayers, reflections being 'Live Streamed' by churches across the Diocese. If you want to add yours, please get in contact with details of What, When and Where they are being streamed including links.
https://durhamdiocese.org/covid-19/live-streamed-services - copy & paste
A COUNTER-INFECTION OF JOY AND HOPE FOR EASTER DAY
A Durham Diocese parishioner had an idea to promote a counter-infection of joy this Easter as a vaccine to the effects of COVID-19 during this coming Holy Time of Year.
David Pott mentioned it to a few people including the Rt Revd, Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham and others – all of whom thought it was a great idea and shared it further. What emerged was an idea that Christians everywhere step outside their homes and singing Jesus Christ is Risen Today at precisely 10 am on Easter Sunday morning, followed by Thine Be the Glory.
TAKING YOUR CHURCH ONLINE
The Church of England regularly publishes and updates a series of guides and links to resources that churches can use to be more proactive online.
The 'A Church Near You' portal is a window to every single parish church in the Church of England and gives parishes an excellent and free opportunity to publicise their church, services and events. You can even add a link to the services you are live streaming whilst we are amidst the COVID-19 crisis.
A series of videos on using your phone for making online videos, simply, effectively and without fuss.
Also covering the use of a ProCamera APP to improve the functionality of your phones video camera. More content to follow. Please let me know if there is any subject re video/audio you would like me to cover.
HELPING UK SCIENTISTS
Throughout the last couple of weeks, I have been looking at the statistics and data released by the government and other research units such as Kings College London. I have also been helping them track the virus by taking part in a daily return of my own progress using their APP COVID Symptom Tracker. One of the challenges that we face is knowing when the population has gained herd immunity and this is one of the ways the scientist are trying to understand the situation.
Maybe this is something you might want to get involved with? As they say, 'Every Little Helps'!
More details here: https://covid.joinzoe.com
What should I do about my PPC or APCM meeting?
Bishops are extending the period for holding annual meetings.
and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply.
Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows.
And the people began to think differently. And the people healed.
And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.
And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.”
- Kitty O’Meara.
March 2020 - The
Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said he would join Pope Francis
and “millions around the world” for a united recital of the Lord’s Prayer at noon on Wednesday.
“Please join us wherever you are. Prayer unites us in testing times,” he wrote on Twitter
and Bishops say: stay at home but continue to pray, to love, to care for the
vulnerable The Archbishops and Bishops of the Church of England have urged
everyone to follow the instructions given by the Prime Minister to stay in
their homes in a national effort to limit the transmission of the coronavirus
But they called on the Church to “continue to pray, to love, to care for the vulnerable”.
the announcement by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson
of sweeping restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.
It means all Church of England churches will close with immediate effect in line with the Government’s instructions. there will also be no Church weddings or baptisms.
Funerals at the graveside or in crematoriums can still take place,
but only in line with the Prime minister’s Statement.
In a joint
statement the bishops said: “In the light of the Government’s
announced by the Prime Minister this evening, we urge everyone to follow the instructions given.
“We will give a fuller statement of advice as soon as possible. Let us continue to pray,
to love, to care for the ulnerable, and build our communities, even while separated.”
churches have been ordered to close for now due to the Coronavirus,
Father Carl will will be praying for everyone
o The Archbishop of Canterbury – The service will be broadcast on all BBC local radio stations in England at 8am and will premier online at 9am on Sunday 22nd March 2020.
o Follow the Church of England’s Facebook page to be notified about the upcoming broadcast.
o The Archbishop of York – will be streaming live on his Facebook page a short time of prayer this Sunday 22nd March.
o The time of prayer will include the Lord’s Prayer and two Taizé Chants ‘Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison’ (Lord have compassion, Christ have compassion)’, and ‘Frieden, Frieden hinterlasse ich euch’ (my peace I leave, my peace I give you’). It will be around 10 minutes long and will be streamed from www.facebook.com/archbishopofyork at 10am, 12 noon, 4pm and 6pm.