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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 meeting daily. Updates are sent to all parishes on email. You can read about the work of the Task Group in more detail via reflections from Bishop Philip on our website here.
Below are pdf versions of the daily briefing that can be downloaded and printed. Advice on certain topics changes daily so please note this when looking back at briefings from previous days. 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. The threat posed by COVID-19 has been assessed by the Chief Medical Officer as ‘moderate’. This permits the Government to plan for all eventualities. Do remember that the risk to individuals remains low. Any change to public health advice will be published at www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
The Archbishops have so far written twice to all clergy in parishes across The Church of England. The Archbishops said: "We are now asking the Church of England in all its parishes, chaplaincies and ministries to serve all people in a new way. Public worship will have to stop for a season. Our usual pattern of Sunday services and other mid-week gatherings must be put on hold. But this does not mean that the Church of England has shut up shop."
In response to the initial letter Bishop Julian, our Diocesan Bishop, also wrote to all parishes in our Diocese: "(The Archbishops say in their letter) we are to carry on as the Church of God in these testing times; it is about a different way of continuing and I commend it as such."
Bishop Julian has since recorded video messages - see the news section of this website for the text and links to the videos.
The Church of England as a whole is following the official Government advice in relation to Coronavirus (specifically from Public Health England).
We pray for those infected by the coronavirus in the UK and around the world, for those who care for them, for health specialists and authorities who are combatting the spread of infection and for all who are feeling anxious at this time.
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 Daily Briefings sent to all parishes (clergy, lay leaders and parish officeholders) from Bishop Philip and the cornonavirus 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.
Please note: The See magazine is 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. The See will return in magazine format in due course. Any questions about The See in relation to the suspension, pleae email email@example.com
In addition, our Parish Update ebulletin (normally issued every two weeks) is also suspended currently as we funnel all our communications into the Daily Briefing. This is make it as easy as possible for parishes to engage with the key information they need. Parish Update will also return when it is appropriate to do so.
Ronnie Semley; page originally developed and created on March 17, 2020 and is updated daily