Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We hope that you continue to stay safe and warm.
More than 13 million people have already been vaccinated. It is good to see that so many across the Diocese have received their first dose and we are on our way to becoming safer. Anyone aged 70 and over, or who are on the Shielded Patients List,
will be able to use the National Booking System to book an appointment without first needing a letter, provided they are registered with a GP. Members of the public not in these groups will still need to wait to be contacted. May we encourage you to share this information? Here is a link for them to book their appointment: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/ You can also find detailed information here https://selondonccg.nhs.uk/what-we-do/covid-19/covid-19-vaccine/
Anyone unable to book online can call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week.
Advice for services during Lent, Holy Week and Easter
Please see attached document and link below for all the relevant information. The Very Revd Andrew Nunn has written a digest of the guidance which will help you make sense of it LHWE 2021 Guidance Digest.pdf
The Bishop’s Lent Call
This year, the theme for The Bishop’s Lent Call is food insecurity. In his letter introducing Lent Call, attached, Bishop Christopher said, “For many in our communities and Link Dioceses, not having enough to eat is sadly and appallingly now a regular occurrence. I urge you all to pray for those in these situations and to consider prayerfully what you can give to help to support them.”
We are grateful to you all who continue to give generously despite the challenging times we are facing. May we encourage you to share the materials and give what you can.
Lent Call Materials: https://southwark.anglican.org/lentcall
Annual Meetings and APCMs
Earlier this week the Archdeacons sent out a letter about Annual Meetings and APCMs for 2021. The letter and FAQs are attached.
Links to all the documents can be found here https://southwark.anglican.org/coronavirus/
Church opening and public worship
Decisions concerning church opening and public worship recommencing will continue to need to be made locally. Some churches which had moved to online worship only are moving back into mixed mode from Ash Wednesday. Others will opt for different timescales – there is no rush about this. When the parish priest decides it is the right time to review this matter, options can be discussed with wardens and your PCC/DCC, and conclusions reached in a considered way. Your Area Dean and Archdeacon are available to be consulted on particular issues.
Signposts and factors you may wish to bear in mind in coming to your decisions on restarting could include:
- what the Prime Minister says on 22 February
- the absolute infection rate (x/100,000) for our parish/postcodes/area and direction of change
- the level and direction of change of the R number rate
- the relative infection and R number rates in comparison to when we reopened in December 2020
- vaccination rates in our area and among our vulnerable members
- whether our local schools are reopening on 8 March
- if we choose not to open as schools return, we may choose to wait for two or three weeks to see the effect on the R and infection rates
- changes in the messages to us from the Mayor of London, the Leader of the Council or other civic authorities who have previously asked us to close voluntarily.
Our continued prayers and best wishes to you all.
The Coronavirus Task Group
(Bishop Christopher, the Very Revd Andrew Nunn, the Venerable Alastair Cutting, Ruth Martin and Sophia Jones)