How do we respond to a global pandemic? How do we make sure everyone in our community is cared for?
Churches across the Diocese of London has responded in many creative, generous and compassionate ways.
There are extraordinary acts of love and compassion happening all over our diocese, often in extreme circumstances.
We’ve put together a library of responses for various areas that we know churches are working in, as we have responded over the lockdown period.
Here are a list of all the blogs we have compiled from a range of experts, from domestic abuse to mental health and caring for those in care homes
Here are resources on food poverty and what your church can do to respond
Here is a wealth of information on helping those in financial distress, struggling with money at this time
Here are the resources we have put together from our “Focus on Funding” week, helping churches source the income they need as they continue to serve the community
A range of other topics are below: Homelessness, Mental health, Supporting those who are sheilding and vulnerable, Mutual Aid groups, & Safe volunteering..
The Diocese of London has released guidance on the provision of homelessness support, following on from the instruction to close all places of worship. It can be found here
Can my church continue to run its soup kitchen or equivalent? It can, but we recommend that volunteers maintain strict social distancing and that clients are asked to queue outside and come in one by one to receive a pre-packed meal/food parcel to take away.
Our church runs a drop in centre for homeless people. How do we manage the current situation? The latest government advice can be found here. Churches may remain open to offer this kind of provision and should follow any updates to government advice. Your insurance company should also be kept updated.
Groundswell have produced Coronavirus advice and planning for people experiencing homelessness here
Homeless Link have put together more information and resources on who is doing what to support those who find themselves street homeless during the outbreak, here
Housing Justice, who co-ordinate and support many of the church run night shelter circuits guidance and information is here
Many church run night shelter circuits will be responding locally; contact them for more details about how to help.
It is not suprising that this crisis has caused many people a great deal of fear and anxiety and a deal of grief. Many people who have underlying mental health issues may be really struggling; for others the stress of this situation may be the cause of mental health issues.
The Church of England have produced a useful guide here
Together Network’s Guide - Looking after your Wellbeing here
National charities are providing resources to help with your mental health at this time:
Supporting the Isolated and Vulnerable
We know that most churches within their congregations those who are isolated and vulnerable. And all churches are placed within communities that definitely have them; and as the virus strikes and people need to self isolate, they themselves become vulnerable.
The Diocese have issued some guidance on how we might care for people here
We are encouraging churches to find creative ways of staying in touch with those who are isolated and vulnerable and to give them spiritual support and also practical support as far as possible. We have published a list of digital and print resources and we are also developing new content
Please also follow government guidelines at this time- which do include permission to go out in order to help and support the vulnerable (eg food drops) while maintaining a 2m distance from anyone else. For more details on government instructions while in lockdown, click here
Many Christians and churches are involved in thier local “Mutual Aid” groups- set up across neighbourhoods to meet each other’s needs.
A list of these Covid-19 Mutual Aid Groups operating in London is here
The Government has put out guidance on how to safely volunteer during the lockdown here
Please adhere to these guidelines in all you are doing to serve your communities!