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COVID-19 Briefing 10/11

The month of November often carries a sombre tone. The days are shorter, curtains are drawn earlier and there feels as if there is less of the day left after work and school have ended.

November begins with All Souls, including, in many places, a commemoration of loved ones who have died. Then we mark Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday, each with a different flavour but with the emphasis on all who have lost their lives in times of conflict and prayer for those who are currently serving in the Armed Forces. And as we observe Remembrance we join with millions across the nation and world who do the same.

As Christians our gaze then turns towards Advent and we anticipate the four great themes of the season, ‘Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell’. The season of ‘preparation for the coming (adventus) of Christ in his incarnation.

This year we have become conscious of a new kind of ‘front line’. No longer is this term used solely to refer to the military or to armed conflict but it refers to those who serve others in a different kind of uniform in the NHS, health and social care, teaching and the essential services which keep society going.

As we remember those who have died this month the experience of loss has come very close to all. For we may feel that in addition to the loss through bereavement we have lost freedom, autonomy or self-sufficiency.

Remembering is a tool that we can use in finding our way into an uncertain and unclear future. When we remember we actually RE-MEMBER. We put together pieces which have become detached from others. The detachment could be because of death but it could equally be through estrangement, misunderstanding or even through lockdown restrictions.

As we continue in prayer for our nation and her leaders what is it that we could be RE-membering which will then be part of the uncertain future into which God calls us? We definitely don’t know what the future holds but we do know who holds the future.
 
Dean Dianna

Critical Reading

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.  
 

Living in Love and Faith 

Yesterday we saw the launch of Living in Love and Faith, an extensive collection of teaching and learning resources to enable the whole church to think more deeply about identity, relationships, marriage and sexuality, in the bigger context of what it means to be human, as those ‘made in God’s image’.

When the work started on Living in Love and Faith – and well before anyone had even dreamt of a national lockdown – who would have realised how important it would become to engage in the kind of open, honest, and gracious discussion that these resources seek to facilitate?

Living in Love and Faith is intended to help the whole church better understand each other and the different perspectives we hold. Clergy in the Diocese of Guildford will be introduced to these resources in a dedicated Clergy Study day (also open to our Licensed Lay Ministers and youth workers) at the end of November.

Bishop Andrew says: “I really look forward to spending time with our clergy and others, focussing on these rich reflections and looking at how we might make the most of them in the months to come. I pray that this process may help to change the way we understand, relate to, and love each other in the church, whatever the theological differences that our discussions might uncover. I also pray that we might understand ourselves a little better through the process, and better model the inclusive, challenging call of Christ in this generation.” 

Resources include a 480-page book, a series of films and podcasts, a course and an online library of other publications in what is thought to be the most extensive work in this area by any faith group in the world. These materials will guide a major process of listening, study and discussion throughout 2021, leading to a process of discernment and decision making in 2022.

Chaplaincy team for LGBTI+ community

In response to Living in Love and Faith we are developing a small chaplaincy team to offer listening, support and prayer to members of the LGBTI+ community and those who stand alongside them. Revd Steve Cox has agreed to head up the team, and we plan to have it up and running by the end of the year. More details to follow. 

Diocesan Safeguarding team – introduction to new members and a goodbye

We are delighted to announce that Jackie Broadfoot has joined the Safeguarding Team as Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor. Jackie brings with her considerable skills, knowledge, and experience from being a Detective Inspector with Surrey Police with expertise in the safeguarding arena, including domestic abuse, diversity crime and risk management.

Since leaving the police, Jackie has worked as a specialist domestic abuse advisor for The YOU Trust organisation, engaging with victims and survivors in hard-to-reach, diverse communities. She has also worked as a tutor delivering leadership training to a range of organisations. Jackie will be working 4 days per week Monday to Thursday per week, and will report to Jane Huttly, Safeguarding Manager. 

Jackie is your first point of contact for safeguarding concerns during normal office hours at jackie.broadfoot@cofeguildford.org.uk or by telephone on 07918 559387.  On Fridays, all calls will be diverted to another member of the safeguarding team. For out of hours emergency contacts, please follow the Reporting link on the diocesan website here

We are sadly saying goodbye to Ian Berry who is leaving Guildford to focus on  his role as Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor in the Portsmouth Diocese. Ian has been a crucial and much respected member of the safeguarding team and we wish him well. 

We are also delighted to announce that Fran Pyatt has been appointed as Diocesan Safeguarding Trainer. This new part time role will be an essential part of the safeguarding team as we move forward with our updated Safeguarding Training Programme.

Fran has worked with TearFund supporting their front-line operations in 35 countries and, more recently, as Centre Manager for Christians Against Poverty. She also brings a wealth of skills and experience as a current trainer and facilitator for adult learning in apprenticeship programs and has an in-depth understanding of safeguarding within a church context. Fran will be working 2.5 days per week, Monday to Friday mornings and reports to Jane Huttly, Safeguarding Manager.

Two Wednesday webinars this week 

Join us at 3pm to hear Bishop Andrew and Bishop Henrik from our link Diocese in Viborg.  One of the blessings of Zoom is the opportunity to meet with people from all around the world. In a unique Wednesday Webinar from 3-4pm tomorrow we will be hearing from one of our link dioceses, Viborg in Denmark, to reflect together on what the Coronavirus has done to our churches, and the wider questions that it’s raised. Four brief contributions from two bishops and two parish priests will inform our discussion – and there will also be time for questions and broader discussion. An optional 30-minute extension will be added to the initial hour for those who wish to take the conversation further (or to stray into the world of Danish mink farms or the background to Brexit!). Register here 

Join us at 7.30pm for a practical webinar for Celebrating Advent and Christmas regardless of restrictions. Emma Coy, from the Mission Enabler team will be hosting with ideas for celebrating the Advent and Christmas seasons with our congregations and communities.  Feel free to come dressed in your best Christmas outfits and bring some festive snacks as we encourage and inspire each other for the season ahead.    Register here
 

For your information 

#PrayerForTheNation further resources

You can sign up to daily reflections and video content here

Day 5 of #PrayerForTheNation, Pete Greig, founder of 24-7 Prayer, leads us in a short time of prayer for family friends and loved ones.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme extension – November 2020

Following on from the Chancellor’s announcement last week on the extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), the government has now published a policy paper providing further information.

Whilst full guidance is expected to provide more detail on 10 November, below is the currents status:  
Overview

  • The extended scheme is to support individuals and businesses who are “impacted by disruption” caused by COVID-19.
  • It will remain open until 31 March 2021.
  • For claim periods running to January 2021, employees will receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month (the cap is proportional to the hours not worked).
  • The government will review the policy in January to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more.
  • Employees who were on the payroll on 23 September 2020, but who left after that, can be re-employed and claimed for.
  • The job retention bonus will not now be paid in February 2021, but a “retention incentive” will be deployed at the appropriate time.

The full document is available on our website here

Sunday Sermon

Bishop Andrew tackles Matthew 25:14-30, the Parable of the Talents, in our Bishops’ Sermon this week, following the lectionary gospel reading for the 2nd Sunday before Advent. He poses the challenge of whether we have got ourselves into a ‘convenient place’ – carefully placing our talent in a hole in the ground – rather than a place of faithfulness and risk. 

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

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

Hosted by Emma Coy, a practical webinar to explore ideas for Advent and Christmas for the whole congregation and wider community. In these ever changing times we will be focusing on things we should be able to do whatever restrictions we are under by then. There will be ideas and resources for you to use with all ages from the very youngest to the very oldest in our communities and also a chance for you to share your ideas too.
 

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.
 

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 the latest National guidance click here
For the latest Diocesan guidance click here
Next briefing will be issued on 17th November 2020

The post COVID-19 Briefing 10/11 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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