Coronavirus: Advice and Information for Churches
The Regional Team are seeking to support churches and ministers in webnet in practical ways and through prayer as we face these challenging times together.
We strongly urge everyone to monitor the advice from the Government regarding coronavirus.
The government has announced that from 4 July 2020, Places of Worship in England will be permitted to open again for services, in addition to being open for private prayer which has been permitted since 13 June 2020.
You’ll find lots of information and guidance about the implications of this on the Baptists Together Essential Guidance page.
We will continue to provide updates as more specific information is given.
CHURCH SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES: PRACTICAL ADVICE
The Government Advice is now that people must Stay Alert.
This will continue to have an impact on meeting on Sundays and at other times during the week.
We will all want to find ways to support those we consider having a duty of care for, especially those who are considered to be most vulnerable. It is important that everyone continues to feel a part of the community. Visiting people in their homes is not advisable except in exceptional circumstances. Please see Baptist Together’s advice on pastoral visiting.
You could consider setting up a phone pastoral care programme where the minister and members of the church maintain regular contact via phone calls. As this pandemic is expected to continue for some time it may mean weekly calls to all those associated with your community. Thought would need to be given to these conversations i.e. being a listening ear, offering prayer and also sharing a short devotional message.
REGIONAL TEAM SUPPORT
We want to support ministers and churches as well as possible during these uncertain times. We intend to keep in regular contact directly, through electronic communications and social media. Please get in touch if we can be of help.
webnet office: 0117 9658828 firstname.lastname@example.org
Nigel Coles email@example.com
Alisdair Longwill firstname.lastname@example.org
Lindsay Caplen email@example.com
Gary Woodall firstname.lastname@example.org
webnet EVENTS AND MEETINGS
In order to help protect the most vulnerable people in our communities across the West of England, we’re currently reviewing which webnet meetings and events will be cancelled and which ones will take place via Zoom, Skype etc. If you’ve booked into an event, we will let you know in the what’s happening.
If you have a pastoral meeting scheduled with a member of our regional team, we will endeavour to hold this via phone or Zoom, Skype etc.
RESOURCES FOR CHURCHES
Please head over to our dedicated page GATHERED.SCATTERED.DEVOTED for ideas and resources at this time.
FUNERALS, WEDDINGS AND BAPTISMS
Please see Baptists Together’s Guidance for Funerals, Weddings and Baptisms. Regional Ministers will be available to support webnet churches and ministers as best as we can.
You might also like to read an article about a recent experience in taking a funeral service during the Coronavirus Outbreak.
SHARING IDEAS AND RESOURCES
It would be great to continue to share resources and stories during this time. We have a page for this which you can see here. If there is a way you are responding that might inform and inspire others, please let us know so that we can share it. We encourage you to use our Facebook page for this purpose too.
FURTHER ADVICE AND RESOURCES
In response to questions being asked, we have published some guidance on financial giving at this time. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need to have a conversation with someone from the regional team.
Baptists Together have a dedicated page for advice and resources which is being updated regularly.
As well as those already mentioned above, we would particularly draw your attention to the following articles:
Baptist Insurance have shared some helpful advice regarding church buildings and properties temporarily closed down at this time.
If filing charity annual returns during the Coronavirus Pandemic is going to be difficult, the Charity Commission can be asked for an extension.
Please do contact any member of the regional team if you feel we could be of support in any way and be assured that we will be praying for you and for your communities.