Guidance for Parishes during the Coronavirus pandemic


Government guidance

Government guidance for places of worship Find out more.

Church of England guidance

Regularly updated guidance Find out more.

NHS guidance

NHS regularly updated guidance. Find out more.

 

The Church of England is continuing to engage with Government departments to review advice to churches.   The Church of England page above will continue to be updated accordingly. 

 


What to do if informed of confirmed cases?

When you are informed of more than one confirmed case with symptoms dating within 14 days of each other, please follow the Action Card guidance and make Public Health aware:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHE East of England Health Protection Team:

Phone: 0300 303 8537 (option 1)

Emails: EastofEnglandHPT@phe.gov.uk and phe.EoEHPT@nhs.net

If you have to isolate:


Parish Finances

Ecclesiastical Fundraising support materials

Ecclesiastical have produced a useful guide on fundraising for churches during COVID-19 which you may find useful. 

Guide | Weblink

Parish Buying resources

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies suitable for post Covid-19 opening are now available please click here.  Please remember it is good practice to compare prices before purchasing.

Generous giving

While our church buildings have been closed and as they start to re-open, we are still a church.  Meeting both together and virtually for prayer services and fellowship, loving our neighbours by offering practical support to the vulnerable, and caring for our communities.  The work of our church is reliant on people’s generosity, a generosity that is a hallmark of a lived-out faith and a testament to it. Encouraging giving in a parish can feel daunting, but it need not be so. There is a new simple tool available by the Church of England digital team.  This personalised giving video can set the right climate for people to review their giving and levels of generosity. There is a short and longer video which could be used on your A Church Near You page or edited into during your streamed or pre-record service.  Visit www.achurchnearyou.com to find the resource.

The Parish Resources website has a ‘digital giving’ website page which may be helpful.  Alongside other resources available on Facebook - Guidance on how to add a donate button to a charity Facebook page here and finally linking to online shopping fundraising opportunities such as  easyfundraising® which is the UK’s biggest charity shopping fundraising site.

Parish Resources | Weblink

For more information please visit:

Stewardship | Weblink


Funding opportunities

To search for the latest funding opportunities and closing dates please go to:

FUNDfinder | Weblink

National Churches Trust (NCT): Foundation Grants Scheme

The NCT’s foundation grants for maintenance scheme remains open and is accepting applications.  Offering grants between £500 and £5,000 towards urgent maintenance works and small repairs identified as high priority within a recent Quinquennial Inspection or Survey Report. Also, small investigative works and surveys. Project costs should be up to £10,000 excl. VAT and awards will never exceed 50% of the costs. Decisions will be made on a rolling basis from the start of 2020.  Click here.

Suffolk Coronavirus Community Fund

Grants of up to £5,000 are available to support community organisations with emergency funding to deal with emerging issues in the community as a result of the continuing threat of coronavirus. This is a rapidly developing situation, and as a result, the focus of the fund will continue to evolve in line with the support required. Full details of the fund and criteria including how to apply are listed here.

The Ecclesiastical COVID-specific grants list

Ecclesiastical have collated a list of funders that support churches and are currently offering COVID-19 emergency grants. The general criteria of many COVID-19 emergency funds are to support projects and programmes helping local communities that will have been hard-hit by the crisis.  These funds will be especially relevant if your church is running projects supporting isolated and vulnerable people, foodbanks, or providing other kinds of support for your community.  To use their search function to find potential grants for your church please click below:

Ecclesiastical COVID-specific grants | Weblink 

The Covid-19 Emergency Heritage at Risk Response Fund

This will award grants to help fund urgent maintenance, repairs and surveys at some of England’s locally-cherished historic buildings and sites, apply here.

New Allchurches Trust fund - Hope Beyond

Hope Beyond is aimed at enabling churches and Christian charities to meet changing need within their communities as the longer term impact of Covid-19 becomes clearer. Funding projects that will enable people, organisations and communities to flourish in life after lockdown.  Grants of up to £50,000 are available, and the amount you receive will depend upon the cost of your project and level of need in your community, ranging from 10% of project cost through to 80%.
 
In developing the Hope Beyond programme, Allchurches Trust carried out an online consultation to better understand what our beneficiaries felt the key needs of people of all ages in their communities would be as a direct result of the Coronavirus pandemic. The Hope Beyond grants programme will, therefore, look to address these three themes:

  1. Responding to the issues of loneliness and isolation exacerbated by the Coronavirus pandemic where new and/or enhanced support is being proposed.
  2. Focused on growing community resilience and promoting mental and emotional health and wellbeing
  3. Focused on growing technological capability and resilience and supporting those without online access to get online through training and support.

 To find out more information about the programme, read the research report and apply online, head to www.allchurches.co.uk/hopebeyond.


Care of Church Buildings

Lead theft - please note the criminal fraternity may not heed the government’s advice and stay at home. We had one instance of a break-in during the original lock-down and a recent lead theft.

The Suffolk police have recently re-issued their guidance for churches and this can be found here. It’s not lock-down specific but it’s a timely reminder of good practice. 

In addition, encourage neighbours to keep an eye on the church building and make sure the contact details of the churchwarden are displayed. Ideally visit the church as frequently as practicable as lead theft is sometimes only visible from inside the church after rain has fallen through the missing roof.

Lead theft | weblink

Faculty rules - don't forget that the new faculty rules took effect from 1 April. An evolution rather than a revolution and the good news is that more work can be done under List B than before and there is an increase in the number of items that don’t need any permission at all (List A). The new Lists are available here.  You are encouraged to use the online faculty system (OFS) for your List B and faculty applications.  All faculties via OFS will be charged at £200, paper-based applications will incur a fee of £250.

Broadband in churches - a number of PCCs have considered installing a telephone / broadband line so they can live stream services. Under the current faculty rules such an installation requires a faculty. However, it is in the gift of chancellors to make ‘additional matter orders’ and happily David Etherington has agreed to a change in policy. This means a telephone / broadband line can be installed via a List B application so long as the Archdeacon and DAC are content with the way the cable enters the building. Any proposal that requires digging in the churchyard, for a new pole or an underground supply, for example, will be beyond the scope of a List B and need a faculty.

Developing online Church | weblink 


Safeguarding

If your church/cathedral is taking responsibility for organising a volunteering service (rather than people helping neighbours or family as private citizens), then you must follow usual safeguarding policies, procedures and practice guidance.  This page on the Church of England website includes a various links to COVID-19 Safeguarding guidance and factsheets.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) renewals must still take place when required.  The DBS has provided updated information regarding identity checks in light of COVID-19 available here.

Remember to consider government guidance regarding social distancing, and guidance regarding shielding for those who are extremely vulnerable.  Anyone who has been particularly advised by the government to stay at home should be encouraged to do so.

Safeguarding training

Basic Safeguarding (C0) and Foundation (C1) courses are still available to complete online.
 
Leadership training is now available by Zoom.  Please see our website page for up to date information and course availability.

Safeguarding training | Weblink

Scamming

Please note that the Local Government Association (LGA) has warned of strangers and cold callers trying to exploit the elderly and vulnerable while we all try to meet the challenge of COVID-19.  We must be alert, support our communities and ensure our outreach and ministry continues to be compassionate and safe.

For more information about Safeguarding during the coronavirus please visit:

How to? Zoom and telephone call | PDF

Church of England | Weblink

 

A prayer for all those affected by coronavirus

Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy.
Sustain and support the anxious,
be with those who care for the sick,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may find comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Amen.

 

Updated 26 November 2020.