Our Vision

Hearts on Fire with a Vision for growth

Coronavirus FAQs

Annual Meetings & Elections

 

Baptisms

  • Emergency baptisms can take place in hospital or at home, though subject to strict hygienic precautions and physical distancing as far as possible. Archbishops' Letter - 24th March 2020

 

Bellringing

  • Because church bells have not been rung for many months, it is important for incumbents and churchwardens to be aware that ringers should arrange to undertake appropriate maintenance checks and any necessary remedial work in every bell-tower before ringing can re-commence. The guidance note "When We Ring Again – preliminary preparations" explains what will need to be done. However, at present, national Church of England guidance is that only one “appointed person” may ring a single bell from a church.
  • Guidance from the Central Council of Bellringers is available on their website at https://cccbr.org.uk/coronavirus/

Buildings

 

Clergy Wellbeing

Cyber-Security

UPDATED 15 May:

Since the general guidance below was issued, it has been brought to our attention that there have been some incidents of (‘Zoombombing’) affecting services being livestreamed by some of our parishes.

The latest edition of Zoom (Zoom 5.0) was issued on 27 April containing security enhancements and additional meeting safeguards to help keep your meetings safe from Zoombombing (https://zoom.us/docs/en-us/zoom-v5-0.html). Please ensure that your Zoom account is updated to this latest version.

Please note that:

  • All meetings are now required by Zoom to have a password. Only circulate the meeting password to trusted individuals and please don't share it online - it's the same as letting the public know where your spare front door keys are kept!
  • To add additional security, we advise that you ask people to let you know in advance that they will be attending the meeting, and to tell you the screen name they'll use.
  • The Zoom waiting room should now be enabled automatically on all meetings. Check the screen names against your list, and only let in those people you are expecting.
  • Screen sharing is now set, by default, to only be an option for the meeting host. We recommend that you keep it set this way to avoid any unwanted interruptions.

Several parishes have experienced their live streams being hijacked. If you are using these platforms, please try to implement some additional security: 

a) Use password security on any parish livestreams you are planning, and make sure that the password is distributed in a different way than the stream link is. 

b) Check the host security settings of the broadcast, to make sure that only the host can allow screen sharing, and if necessary, muting.

Diocesan Funerals Helpline

Funeral Directors who need a Church of England minister can now access a Diocesan helpline as a contact point for all churches in the Diocese. Details received at this central helpline will be passed on to a local co-ordinator who can arrange a minister and deal with the Funeral Director.
E-mail:  funeralhelpline@southwark.anglican.org
Tel:  020 3196 6656

Funerals

 

General

 

Job Retention Scheme

  • Material made available by the Diocesan Human Resources department, concerning the Government’s Job Retention Scheme. This contains details of the process for furloughing staff who can no longer work in the current situation. Bulletin No.4 - 1st April 2020
  • The HMRC guidance on the Job Retention Scheme was updated again on 15 April 2020, https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme. It includes an updated list of information needed to make a claim – it is important that PCCs  that have furloughed staff have this information ready for when the Job Retention Scheme portal opens, which is expected to be on 20 April. Payments are then due to be paid by the end of the month.

 

Migrants and asylum seekers

Online Church

 

Prayer

 

Parish Support Fund and Finances

 

Re-opening our churches

  • The government announced that churches were able to open for individual private prayer from Saturday 13 June. We would encourage our churches to open only when they feel that they have made all the necessary preparations to do so.
  • The Government has issued guidance concerning places of worship being open for Individual prayer
  • We are able to say that churches do not need to have someone in attendance during the time that they are open for prayer. Please do, however, consider whether it is safe to leave them open and unattended. We know that this will be different in different places in the Diocese.
  • The Church of England has issued a revised Risk Assessment for re-opening our churches.

Hygiene

  • As we re-open our churches it will be very important that we make provision for people to remain as safe as possible. To this end the Archdeacons have worked with the Chancellor of the Diocese to ensure that the faculty permission which will be needed in order to affix hand sanitiser dispensers (for those requesting them) permanently to the wall, near to doors into the church can be obtained in the fastest and easiest way possible. Read the advice from the Chancellor - Work to facilitate the re-opening of churches to prayer.

Liturgical Resources as Churches re-open

  • We are pleased to be able to make available to you liturgical materials which have been prepared by the Bishop’s Liturgical Advisory Group for use by clergy and lay people as they re-enter our churches after the lockdown.
    We very much hope that you will want to make these available to people who come into your churches but, as you will know, we cannot at present leave materials in the churches for people to take or to use. Please display the material near the entrance to the church and add a note beside them explaining how they can be accessed and used.
    We have put together PDF documents of the materials as well as a single sheet with QR codes that, when scanned with a mobile device, will open the prayers and services. A zip folder containing all the liturgical resources as churches re-open in both PDFs and Word formats is available to download.

Recording numbers of attendees at online services

  • Many of you have been in touch with us to ask about recording numbers of attendees at your online services. These materials on recording numbers from the national church might be of help with this (link to COVID-19 Attendance Tracker and guidance which went out with bulletin no 15). These suggestions are there to be helpful and are not to be seen as a requirement. Nonetheless, if you would like to use this or any other means to record the numbers of those at your services this information may be useful in the future. Please consider if you would like to use these but do not feel compelled to do so. 

Safeguarding

 

Services

 

The Bridge

  • In view of the restrictions placed upon us all by the coronavirus pandemic the decision has been made to publish the Bridge online only for the next few months.  Online editions of the paper can be found here: https://southwark.anglican.org/thebridge. There are some wonderful stories in the paper of how people are helping their communities at this time and of God at work and we hope that these will be an encouragement to you and to them.  Please do let us know of initiatives that you are taking in your parish to care for others at this time so that we can share them in the Bridge and on our website and blogs. Stories should be sent to: bridge@southwark.anglican.org. Bulletin No.5 - Friday 3rd April 2020

 

Weddings