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COVID-19 Briefing 05/11

A message from Bishop Andrew

A call to begin 28 days of focused prayer

Friends, these are challenging times as we move into Lockdown once more, and this time as winter approaches. It’s vital that we continue to do what we can to reach out to those most affected in our communities, living out God’s special heart for the poor and lonely and bereaved and the spiritually lost, as the church at its best has always done; and it’s vital too that we continue to stream our worship services, whether live or recorded or in partnership with other churches, so as to draw us together into the presence of the Good Shepherd who continues to walk with us through the green pastures and the darkest of valleys.

Thursday marks the beginning of 28 days of Lockdown, but also, on the initiative of our archbishops, the beginning of 28 days of focussed prayer for our nation at this time, and I’d love to encourage every Christian in the diocese to engage with this, and particularly with a very simple discipline: setting the alarms on our phones or wherever to go off at 6 o’clock each evening to remind us to pray together – across the diocese and nation – for just five minutes each day – or more, of course, as the Spirit leads you! It would be great too if as many churches as possible could toll their bells at 6 pm, so as to remind our communities that we are praying for them. And if you’re able to pray and fast once a week over this month – fasting from food or maybe from TV or social media – that too would help us to focus our prayers for God’s mercy at this time, and to keep that living link with the living God.
 
And some words of blessing from Paul’s letter to the Romans: ‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit’. Amen
 

Critical Reading

#PrayerForTheNation resources

As lockdown starts, The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, other senior leaders and our own Diocesan Bishops are inviting you all to pray for the nation.

Each day, there will be a key area to pray for, based on a simple weekly cycle, and at 6pm we will take a collective moment in prayer together. A booklet of prayer has been created and is available here
 

Day of the week Daily theme
Sunday Family, friends and loved ones
Monday Schools and colleges, children and young people
Tuesday Elderly, isolated and vulnerable
Wednesday Businesses, the workplace and economic wellbeing
Thursday The NHS and other key workers
Friday National and local governments
Saturday All who are grieving and all suffering with physical & mental ill-health

In the first week, a video will be shared at 6pm each day on the Archbishops social media channels calling for this collective prayer.
Churches are encouraged to ring bells (if safe to do so) and encourage your congregation to set alarms to remember to pray together and share what they are doing using the hashtag #PrayerForTheNation 

For a range of tried and trusted resources – from across traditions and denominations, ranging from simple prayers to litanies. See here: www.churchofengland.org/PrayerForTheNation This includes links to social media assets which include the daily themes, prayers and other resources.
 

Letter to the Nation 

In case you have not seen the letter shared nationally by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York, you can read the letter in full  here

Changes in Guidance

We are still waiting on changes but will share what we can, when we can.

We have developed an FAQ based on some of the questions we have received from parishes so far and will keep this up to date. 

There are a number of implications set out in this FAQ however please be aware that the most up-to-date guidance will be found on the Church of England’s coronavirus guidance page  and the government guidance pages (new national restrictions and guidance for places of worship) do check the date at which they were last updated at the top of each page.

If you have questions, please contact the parishcoordination@cofeguildford.org.uk.  
 

Diocesan resources to help you locally until Jan 1 2021

We have had a number of conversations with our clergy and lay ministers this week and we know this is an extremely challenging time. We asked what support you would like from us and what support you wouldn’t.

  1. We will continue to share Bishops’ Sermons based on lectionary readings each week (this will carry on until at least Christmas)
  2. We will continue to host practical workshops (Wednesday webinars) to share ideas on how to survive and thrive in this lockdown period and beyond
  3. We will also create a stand alone all age pre-recorded service for you for the 27th December – we hope that this will encourage a number of you to take a well earned rest. Our intention is that this will be available from mid December for your planning purposes.  If you prefer something ‘classic’ that is not all-age, you may wish to point people to join the livestream from the cathedral’s service of Holy Eucharist.

For your information 

Interfaith Week 2020
Inter Faith Week 2020 will take place from Sunday 8 – Sunday 15 November.
The aims of Inter Faith Week are to:

  • Strengthen good inter faith relations at all levels
  • Increase awareness of the different and distinct faith communities in the UK, celebrating and building on the contribution which their members make to their neighbourhoods and to wider society
  • Increase understanding between people of religious and non-religious beliefs

Surrey has six interfaith forums that have actively organised events for interfaith week in previous years; this year in the context of Covid-19, some virtual events have been organised and a ‘interfaith buddy scheme’ where people of different faiths buddied with a person from a faith different to theirs, remained in contact once or twice a week in different ways, to get an idea of what their respective faith means to them both in beliefs and practice.

This year’s virtual events that you can join:
Religions during Covid-19: Spiritual and Practical
Elmbridge Multi Faith Forum are holding an online event during Interfaith Week to hear from different faith perspectives on how they have coped during this time. Tuesday 10th November, 7.30 pm on zoom
http://surreyfaithlinks.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Covid-19-spiritual-and-practical.png
 
What are religions doing about race inequality?
Woking People of Faith are holding this event during Interfaith Week on zoom on Thursday 12th November at 7.00 pm—8.30 pm.
http://surreyfaithlinks.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Doing-God-Together-2020.png
 
Mental Health and Wellbeing in Challenging Times
Guildford and Godalming Interfaith Forum are holding their annual Interfaith Service on Sunday 15th November at 3.00 pm
http://surreyfaithlinks.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Interfaith-Service-2020.png
 
If you would like to receive information and updates about future events not just limited to Interfaith Week, please email Kawther.Hashmi@cofeguildford.org.uk to receive the Surrey Faith Links Newsletter or follow on Facebook.
W: www.surreyfaithlinks.org.uk
 
 

Digital Inclusion

 
As part of the East Surrey Poverty Truth Commission, Bishop Jo has helped to establish an upcycling project that cleans/services laptops and tablets for redistribution, through schools, to enable children without other form of online access to learn from home.

Here are some of the first batch being delivered to Trinity Leatherhead School! As a second lockdown begins, the needs are very great. Might you have a spare device lying around that you could manage without? Might others in your parish or neighbourhood? See https://epsomewell.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/donate-a-laptop/ for more info including drop-off/pick-up.

Reminder of Sunday Sermon

Bishop Jo preaches for Remembrance Sunday on the lectionary epistle (1Thess 4:13-18), ‘How do we remember?’

You can find out more about the upcoming webinars on our website or if you missed a session, you can catch up via our YouTube channel

If you missed this week’s webinar, its worth a watch. This global pandemic whilst so, so challenging also presents the biggest opportunity for Christians. To reach out to their neighbours and ask ‘How are you really?’. Michael Harvey talks about success being the invitation and leaving the rest to God. 
Wednesday 11th November – 3pm-4pm – Contributing to the new normal

Bishop Andrew Watson will be joined by Bishop Henrik and others from our link Diocese in Viborg, Denmark.

The webinar will explore how the Church might contribute to the new normal, particularly in our own parishes and contexts post lockdown.

Please note 3pm start

Wednesday 11th November – Creative Christmas   EVENING WEBINAR: 7.30- 8.30pm

Lead by the Mission Enabler team exploring what are our options for Christmas, especially in Lockdown 2.0

Change of timing. Wednesday 18th November – 7.30pm-8.30pm – Online and all age services

With special guests Nick and Becky Drake from Gas Street Church in Birmingham.

Intergenerational worship is tough in normal times – how does one lead children and adults in worship? Online it can be even harder to get right. This is a workshop for creative ideas and learning from people who are doing it well.
 

For the latest National guidance click here
For the latest Diocesan guidance click here
Next briefing will be issued on 10th November 2020

The post COVID-19 Briefing 05/11 appeared first on The Parish of Capel and Ockley.

St John The Baptist Church, Capel is a small friendly village church in the centre of the village. We are part of the Surrey Weald Team of parishes close to the south Surrey border with West Sussex. The other parishes in the team are St Peter’s, Newdigate, and St Mary Magdelene, South Holmwood. Our church offers a variety of worship, both separate and as part of the Weald Team.

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