Last updated 21st January 2021
COVID19 Advice for clergy including health and wellbeing
This page is a summary of some of the advice published in the bulletins produced by the Coronavirus Task Group
Message to clergy from your Bishops (19/01/2021)
Bishop Julian, Bishop Philip and Bishop Jill sent a pastoral message to all clergy on January 18.
This letter is simply to let you know that, as your three Bishops, we are praying for you.
It is hard to think of a time in living memory when sustaining Christian life has been quite so challenging as today.
So thank you for all you continue to do in hard times, especially for those quiet, unseen acts of ministry that mean so much to those who receive them. In these lonely days it can be easy to forget it, but your ministry is profoundly important and richly appreciated.
May the God of all grace give you perseverance, compassion and courage to do his will. And may you know both his strength and his peace.
Read the full letter here.
Support for mental health and wellbeing (14/01/2021)
Across the period of the pandemic your Coronavirus Task Group has sent an assortment of advice to parishes about how to support others as well as being kind to yourself and looking after your own mental health and general wellbeing.
We have gathered all this advice together into one helpful section on this page and you will also find the same section in the Coronavirus Compendium.
'Covid Care' ... this article is by Rev. Andy Meeson. In it he looks at dealing with fatigue, isolation, stress, selfishness, conflict and despondency.
Download Covid Care pdf
'Creating a new routine' ... by Rev. Susan Salt. Looking at ways to change your daily routine to adapt to the pandemic.
Download Creating a new routine pdf
Mental Health reflections from The Church of England ... advice from the national church; also includes links to other websites includes NHS guidance and the Mental Health Foundation
Download Mental Health reflections pdf
Mental Wellbeing and Coronavirus ... by Rev. Susan Salt. Looking at how our state of wellbeing – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual – is not only dependent upon whether or not we catch Coronavirus, but also very much related to its associated and ongoing effects in our lives. Includes more useful links to further support eg the Inter-Diocesan Counselling Service.
Download Mental Wellbeing and Coronavirus pdf
Stay Healthy in Mind, Body and Spirit ... speaks for itself. By Rev. Lesley Hinchcliffe, this will support you in a variety of ways - including suggested exercises (with pictures to demonstrate technique).
Download Stay Healthy in Mind, Body and Spirit pdf
Staying fit in the pandemic ... by Rev. Susan Salt. Further helpful advice including a reminder to keep social media use controlled!
Download Staying fit in the pandemic pdf
And on the subject of social media, we have Social media best practice online ... by Ronnie Semley, Communications Manager. Practical tips and help to ensure your social media use is controlled and proportional uring the pandemic. Click here to go to it.
Finally in this section, we are still very 'locked down' at present but when restrictions begin to ease again you will find the advice below from an earlier lockdown easing period still relevant and helpful.
Looking after yourself as any current lockdown restrictions ease (14/01/2021)
- Everyone’s experience of lockdown will be different. Listen thoughtfully to yourself and others. Acknowledge the “moral trauma” of being forced to act in ways you would not normally choose to because of the restrictions imposed, such as the restrictions around conducting a funeral. If needed, bring those areas of pain to a colleague or your spiritual advisor.
- Accept the restrictions imposed by the government and the national church around public worship and ministry in general, even though they may feel contradictory or illogical to you.
- Be honest about what is possible and not possible for you in your context and try and avoid comparing yourself or your parish to others. Embrace what you are able to do rather than lament what you cannot do.
- As the lockdown restrictions ease, begin to establish new routines. Do not try and reproduce what you did prior to lockdown, rather reflect prayerfully on the last few months and ask God what are the things you need to take up again and what can be laid down.
- Be realistic about what you can do and how long things will take to re-establish: go at the pace that feels comfortable to you in your context. Involve others in decisions around re-opening churches, re-starting public worship, meeting pastoral and practical needs and other parish activities. See this as an opportunity to review and renew as well as re-start.
- Build on the prayer and care for your community that has developed over the last few months and establish a routine of prayer and reflection that ministers to yourself as well as others.
- As activities restart make sure you continue to incorporate time that feeds your spirit in addition to prayer for the world, nation, community and parish. Seek patterns of prayer and quiet time that suit you, that support you rather than constrain or drain you.
- Give attention to yourself, your family and to your friends. Be honest and seek professional help if you or members of your family are feeling anxious, fearful or angry. This has been a time that has stretched even the most experienced professionals and you may need a safe space to explore what you have experienced or witnessed.
- Continue to limit the places you get information from and the time you spend getting that information. A lot of information circulating online can be inaccurate, misleading, or unhelpful in your local context. Consider taking social media sabbaticals?
- Continuing or starting a journal can be helpful. Re-read your thoughts and prayers and ideas. Dare to dream some dreams about how to use the lessons learnt in your community as the lockdown eases.
- Remember to take leave and create some space where you can relax and catch up with family and friends. Think about planning holidays now – even if the location cannot be fixed yet.
- Think about how you will maintain good diet/exercise routines that you have established or think about how to establish them as you start to take up more parish duties?
Repairs and maintenance of property managed by DBF (03/09/2020)
(Only of relevance to those occupying DBF managed properties such as vicarages and curates’ houses.)
To increase and maintain social distancing and to limit contact, we will continue to use with the following protocol to help manage and maintain our repairs and maintenance service.
All reported repairs will be categorised and prioritised as follows;
If you can smell gas or have a concern regarding a gas leak, please contact National Gas Emergencies immediately on 0800 111 999.
- Emergency (such as a severe water leak, major electrical failure (not a power cut), exposed electrical wires, no heating or hot water).
- Urgent (such as blocked drains, water leak which can be contained, minor electrical faults).
- Routine (such as low priority internal and external repairs).
- Quinquennial Inspection work.
- Planned improvement and programmed work.
To balance our Contractors safety along with our responsibilities to protect our staff, occupants and also to prevent the spread of the virus we will be assessing all reported repairs to gauge the priority of the work and whether we need to instruct our contractors to attend.
- Where possible we will ask our Contractors to make contact with the building occupant with a view to providing over the phone advice to resolve the problem. This may work in certain circumstances such as where a boiler may need resetting or where an electrical circuit breaker has tripped out. This may also work as a temporary measure until such a time as an appropriate repair can be carried out.
- Where a site visit is required, we will need our Contractors to make direct contact with the building occupant on the day of visit, to check and ensure that the appointment can still go ahead. This will be providing that the Contractor and the building occupants are not showing any signs of the Covid-19 virus.
- Where the appointment does take place we will need our Contractors to follow the Government's most current advice for social distancing protocols, using hand sanitiser and washing of hands for a minimum of 20 seconds with soap and water before entering and upon leaving the appointment. Where it is felt necessary our Contractors may decide to wear a face mask and disposable gloves. They may also request that internal doors leading to the work areas are left open during the visit and where possible windows are opened to provide fresh air and ventilation.
- If the building occupants do not want the appointment to proceed, the appointment can be rearranged accordingly to suit the situation. This information should be conveyed to the Property Department so the information can be logged onto the Property System
Ronnie Semley, last updated January 14, 2021