Coronavirus - Advice for Churches
Childline: 0800 1111
Samaritans: 116 123
Domestic Violence Hotline: 0808 2000 247
Mind: 0300 123 3393
Age UK: 0800 169 6565
Hampshire County Council Updates: https://www.hants.gov.uk/coronavirus
In light of the Government guidance around non-essential contact, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have issued advice that public worship is suspended until further notice.
The church building is now closed and all our regular church activities have also been suspended until further notice to help protect everyone. However our church is still running online. Our Sunday services are available to watch on our church website and you can find other resources there too.
If anyone is in need of help, support or a friendly phone call then please contact our church office and someone will hopefully be able to assist you. Our church office can be contacted on 01252 375578 or 07845 175158.
If you urgently need a food parcel and you have a referral please phone our Larder Foodbank number on 07501 202546.
Remember, the best way of protecting us from the spread of Coronavirus is for everyone to use good hygiene. This will effectively disrupt the spread of the virus. Please remember to:
Catch it – sneeze into a tissue.
Bin it – bin the tissue.
Kill it – wash your hands.
Do not touch your face unless you’ve washed your hands.
If you think you may have the virus then isolate yourself and phone the NHS on 111 for further advice. Once you have done that please contact the church office to let us know.
Further information can be found on the Church of England’s website which is being updated daily.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. Please continue to pray during this time of uncertainty.
See below some helpful advice from the Bishop of St Albans which is also worth reflecting on.
Yours in Christ,
Rev Russell Smart
The Bishop of St Albans Coronavirus Golden Rules
Not official advice but this is food-for-thought about our attitudes.
Golden Rule One
Each one of us can think about how we can protect and support our neighbours. So much of the public rhetoric is sowing fear about the danger of other people. So, taking all the official precautions, offer help and reassurance to others – and don’t demonise anyone or any group.
Golden Rule Two
Think about who may be suffering more than me. For those of us who are healthy there is much less to worry about but the elderly, the housebound and those with chronic health conditions may be very anxious. How about each church undertaking an audit of all the vulnerable people they know and sharing out the responsibility to phone them each day. There’s nothing like a friendly voice to offer solace when someone is worried. A smile can bring cheer, even on the phone. If you visit, follow all the official precautions or don’t go.
Golden Rule Three
Don’t give into panic and start hoarding food. There is plenty to go around, so practise the Christian discipline of sharing. Ask your neighbours what they need and do you best to help them get it. If you are self-isolating you will of course need some supplies.
Golden Rule Four
Live today to the full. None of us ever know what the future holds. In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6. 25 – 34), Jesus challenged his followers to live each day fully and not be afraid. Every time we are tempted to give in to fear we need to make a conscious choice to respond in trust and openness.
Finally, don’t forget to pray!
Dear God our Shield and our Defender, guide and protect my neighbour in this time of health emergency; deliver them from all harm and may your love and care ever grow in this place. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord, Amen.