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This page contains important advice for parishes in Lancashire in relation to Coronavirus (Covid-19) ... including links to our comprehensive 'compendium of information' page; helpful further reading and links to frequently asked questions (FAQs).
It is being updated daily with links to new information as required, including pdfs of the daily briefings from the Diocesan Coronavirus Task Group. Work is actively progressing on reorganising the information already on this page (and/or sent to parishes in the daily briefings) as we continue to support parishes.
There is now a new compendium page on the website (link in panel at top of page) and information is also being regularly disaggregated to new pages across this site sited under the relevant page headings to make it as easy as possible to engage with. These new pages often in the 'Resources' section but also elsewhere.
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 daily.
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. As of late July the briefings are at least once a week and more will appear if and when further updates are necessary.
Below are pdf versions of the briefing 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, should always be up to date.
A compendium of the advice and resources in the daily briefings can be found in the Resources section of our website.
There are also COVID19 pages under most areas of the Resources section of the website containing further advice and resources relevant to the specific area eg for clergy, parish administration.
These include prayer and service resources for each Sunday and with thanks to St Laurence's in Chorley.
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 with a suite of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Coronavirus in a Church context
You are advised to follow daily updates from official government sources including this regularly updated Coronavirus page on Gov.UK. Other 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.
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.
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.
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.
The Department of health has launched a public information campaign. Germs can live on surfaces for hours. To protect yourself and others:
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 (normally issued every two weeks) is suspended currently as we funnel all our communications into the regular Task Group Briefings. This is make it as easy as possible for parishes to engage with the key information they need. Parish Update will return when it is appropriate to make that change.
The See magazine is also currently suspended due to the outbreak; there will be no costs incurred by parishes for the See during the suspension. The April edition had just been printed when the lockdown occurred. You can read a revised version of that edition here.
We will update about plans for The See in due course. In the meantime, any questions about The See in relation to the suspension, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ronnie Semley; page currently updated regularly