CORONAVIRUS: Our latest updates; the 'coronavirus compendium'; general information; links to resources Click here for more
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Overview

This page contains important advice for parishes in Lancashire in relation to Coronavirus (Covid-19).

This overview section guides you through how to navigate to the the advice you need, please read it carefully so you can engage with the advice as swiftly ans easily as possible.

As of February 25 the government is in the early stages of beginning to ease restrictions very slowly and carefully.

Lockdown is still the norm for now but from March 8 changes such as schools returning in full will begin to happen. There will be a phased programme of lifting all restrictions and the Government has laid out a 'roadmap' for this from now until into the summer. 

As advice becomes available on all aspects of these restrictions being lifted your Coronavirus Task Group will continue to keep you up to date. 

  • The very latest briefings are always to be found in the pdf list immediately below.
  • For the very latest changes and our comprehensive 'compendium of information' page is also updated regularly and has a 'Current situation' section also regularly updated to take account of the latest developments.
  • Alongside the 'Current situation' section there are other sections with helpful further reading on other aspects of Covid-19; links to frequently asked questions (FAQs) etc 

As well as the compendium page on the website (quick link in panel at top of page) information is also regularly disaggregated to additional Covid-related pages across this site and located under the relevant page headings to make it as easy as possible to engage with. These Covid-specific pages often appear in the 'Resources' section but also appear elsewhere.

Please note however, disaggregation of information to these pages is designed to be a helpful additional service for parishes. It happens when time and resources allow and less frequently than the updates to the compendium.

So please make the compendium and the briefings your first port of call for the latest advice at all times. Any doubts just email coronavirus@blackburn.anglican.org

Please also note that in addition to links below to other parts of our website, other links already featured here (such as to the Church of England national website and Government website) are to sites that are reliable sources of information and which are also being updated regularly but please contact the owners of the sites we link to directly if you have a specific question related to them. We can't make alterations to externally provided information. 


Coronavirus Task Group briefings for parishes 

The Task Group to manage our response to Coronavirus is still meeting regularly and the Briefings are sent to all clergy, churchwardens, licensed lay ministers, treasurers, PCC secretaries and Vision Champions via email.

The briefings appeared daily in the early part of the pandemic and are currently at least once or twice a week although more will appear if and when crucial updates are necessary. 

Below are the very latest briefings that can be downloaded and printed. Advice on certain topics changes regularly so please note this when looking back at previous briefings.

We will always update on the latest advice on any particular subject in the next available briefing and the advice on the rest of the website, including the compendium will also be updated as soon as possible as well. 


Compendium of advice and resources (including latest situation)

A compendium of the advice and resources contained initially in the daily briefings can be found in the Resources section of our websiteIt includes a 'latest situation summary' which will be updated as often as we can.

  • Last updated on: April 1, 2021

Guidance from The Church of England

All guidance given will continue to reflect appropriate current Public Health advice and is kept under constant review. 

This page on the national Church of England website provides further advice as well as digital resources for worship and prayer.

Via the link above (and also linked to in the compendium) there are a suite of documents on key topics such as the following:

  • Conducting public worship and legal questions on conducting public worship
  • Individual private prayer
  • Face coverings
  • Safer Churches – Helping public places to reopen safely
  • Holy Communion, baptisms, funerals, ordinations and consecrations, weddings, confirmation services and pastoral encounters
  • Mission and ministry with children and young people
  • Outdoor worship and churchyards; keeping church buildings clean; opening cathedral and church buildings to the public and opening church buildings for works to the building and interior*
  • Permissions for temporary works in churches and cathedrals
  • Pastoral support in the community including care homes
  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Personal risk factors to clergy, church workers and volunteers
  • Safeguarding FAQs
  • Test and Trace

*(This combines Access to church buildings for building maintenance and Church and cathedral building access for construction work into a single guidance document)

Also via the link above and via the compendium and in the FAQ section of the CofE national website, you will also find guidance on:

  • Prayer and worship, including face coverings, singing, Holy Communion, liturgical resources and much more.
  • Life events: Funerals, weddings, baptisms and ordinations.
  • Community support work, eg foodbanks, blood donations and night shelters.
  • Fabric and building work, including building access; cleaning churches and giving access to builders for maintenance. 
  • Finance and governance, including PCCs, AGMS and giving financially to the church.
  • Schools, nurseries and youth provision, including use of church buildings by schools for worship and gatherings; children and young people's activities and rsources for starting up again in this context. 
  • General advice including for risk assessments; pointers for those at additional risk; safeguarding advice in a remote working context; collating 'test and trace' data; for church hall use; holding non-worship events in church buildings and much more. 

Government updates

You are advised to follow daily updates from official government sources including this regularly updated Coronavirus page on gov.ukOther helpful links to related websites can be found below.

Please note that some media coverage can be alarmist. Try to ensure your information is coming from consistently reliable media sources such as the BBC.

Meanwhile, on social media, trust only official updates and try to avoid deliberately or accidentally spreading gossip and rumour where possible. See more about social media in the digital section below. 


Digital resources and use of social media

As the Coronavirus crisis continues there has been a significant expansion of digital resources and advice locally in the Diocese and from The Church of England digital team: including audio, video, online webinars for churches and other relevant materials.

Whatever resources there are available currently, we aim to ensure we overlay this national material with digital resources suitable for our Diocese specifically. 

You can view and engage with all national material on this page of the national website (follow the link at the top of the page) and here on this website

Live streaming: search the clickable map  on A Church Near You' and watch livestreams of people from your own parish (or perhaps the nearest parish to you). Here's a handy guide to the basics of livestreaming from the Church of England.

  • YouTube videos, including messages during the coronavirus outbreak from our senior clergy, can be found  on our channel
  • Follow on Twitter  @cofelancs for the latest retweets of activity around the diocese.
  • Our Facebook page  is also available. 
  • And great Christian resources to keep children busy can be found here on the Diocesan Board of Education website. 

Using social media:

It has been good to watch how social media platforms have been used in new and exciting ways to engage with communities recently.

Social media can also be used for harm and we want to advise against any use of social media which may promote upset, angst or discord at this time. Social media can be good for maintaining connections, but it can also be a terrible source of anxiety, fake news and angst.

Think carefully not just about what you choose to read, but also what you write and put out in the public domain. If the powers and authorities make decisions which you disagree with, you should be able to voice your concern, but please remember to always do it in a way that is factually accurate (remembering that they too are under extreme stress and strain) and above all is loving and kind.

More detailed advice is available here


Minimising chances of infection

The Department of health has launched a public information campaign. Germs can live on surfaces for hours. To protect yourself and others:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your coughs or sneezes
  • Bin the tissue and to kill the germs, wash your hands with soap and water or use a sanitiser gel
  • Have soap and sanitiser gel available for your parishioners and parish officers
  • Ensure good regular cleaning of surfaces lots of people touch regularly
  • Display this public information poster here and this Lancashire Police poster

Communication with parishes during the pandemic

With the ongoing raised level of public health messaging nationally, we are also reflecting this as a Diocese in relation to what parishes should do in the context of the coronavirus lockdown. 

This page you are now reading on the Diocesan website will be updated as regularly as required and features links to reliable websites which are also being regularly updated. There are also the regular briefings sent to all parishes (clergy, lay leaders and parish officeholders) from Bishop Philip and the Coronavirus Task Group (see above). 

More information to support and help parishes during the coronavirus outbreak can be found across the website under the relevant subject headings - and mainly in the 'Resources' section. 

Our Parish Update ebulletin has now returned every second Wednesday after we initially funneled all our communications into the regular Task Group Briefings when the pandemic began. 

Sadly, The See magazine, which was initially suspended due to the pandemic has now been cancelled permanently for a number of key reasons; many connected with the pandemic itself. For more information about this news click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ronnie Semley; page currently updated regularly - last on February 25, 2020