These are unusual times, but also times for us to be effective in our witness and to grow in our relationship with the Lord. There are many places for you to obtain information that can help you during the Coronavirus shutdown. We would like to share some of these with you.
Ansvar, one of the main church insurers, has issued a helpful update for churches insured by them. This gives guidance on what to do now that physical meetings cannot take place in your church building. It is practical and should answer most of your questions. These include regular inspections, either draining down or keeping the heating on to stop pipes freezing and removing any perishable food stored in the property. Click here [https://www.ansvar.co.uk/covid-19-updates/covid-19-news/] for more information.
Weddings, baptisms and church meetings, large and small, are now not permitted. Funerals are however allowed, but they may now only happen at the crematorium or at the graveside. Only members of the deceased person’s household or close family members should attend funerals. Any individual displaying symptoms of Covid-19 should not attend. Those who do attend will need to adhere to social distancing at all times, including when travelling to and from the funeral. It is possible in many cases to use technology to capture the event for those who are unable to be there in person, either by recording it or by live streaming it to those remaining at home. Government guidelines can be found here [https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-advice-for-safe-funerals-after-discussions-with-faith-leaders].
Staying connected in this time of isolation
A great resource from Partnership [https://partnershipuk.org/covid19/] has been put together to help churches during the Coronavirus situation. Material includes practical tips to help local churches to continue their work and advice on pastoral care during lockdown. Ranging from getting children to write letters to elderly members to planning your daily exercise to pass the window of church members in order to wave and smile as you pass.
Church Growth Trust’s new Property Administrator Elaine Roberts and CGT’s designer Tom Nicholson, who both lead in local Vineyard churches have come up with some practical ideas of using technology to keep connected. This is an opportunity to discover new ways of connecting with each other and caring in practical ways for our church family and others in our community (fulfilling the royal law of James 2:8 by loving your neighbour as yourself). It is also an opportunity to spend more time reconnecting with God and enjoying our closet time with Him. See their thoughts in more details……[click here for article]
The Evangelical Alliance has set up a Coronavirus Hub on their website full of information just for churches. Why not put a link on your church website, so all your members can have access?
Stewardship has put together a financial guide [https://www.stewardship.org.uk/information/covid-page-2] for any questions that your church may currently be struggling with. There is also on their website advice on using charity reserves and making decisions as trustees.
Anthony Collins solicitors have provided a briefing on some of the current legal issues [https://www.anthonycollins.com/media/3894/coronavirus-ebriefing-for-churches-updated-31-march.pdf]. If there is anything else Church Growth Trust can help you with, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01536 201339 or firstname.lastname@example.org.