COVID 19 - What happens now?
Well, what happens now?
London, like the rest of the country is trying to come to terms with the most turbulent week in our recent history, and what it means now.
We know that churches across the Diocese have been dealing with this immediate crisis that the Coronavirus outbreak has caused in the most extraordinary ways.
We know church leaders and volunteers have been stretched beyond their limits. We know you’ve had to learn things incredibly quickly, get to grips with new technology, work out how to support their congregrations, spiritually and practically, how to cope with the anxiety and fear that this week has stoked in us all; how to respond to the ever changing situation and guidelines, and have risen to it all amazingly, by the grace and strength of God.
We are praying for you.
We also know that as we enter a new week, there are more challenges to face. Particualrly we know lots are asking lots of questions about the work that the church does, week in week out to support the most vulnerable and reach out with compassion to our communities.
Can that carry on? if so how? if not, who will do it? Will people be OK?
They’re all really important questions to be asking.
Specific questions have come about foodbanks, and homeless provison, as well as how to support the most vulnerable isolated people in our community-often elderly or with some disability, or mental health challenges.
We don’t have answers right now to everything. And the picture is changing very quickly. But we are working with those co-ordinating things centrally at the Diocese to work things out.
Here are a few resources that may help.
The Diocesan response to questions about recent total closure of churches is here, particularly in relation to foodbanks and homeless provision:
Bishop Sarah’s brilliant thoughtful response about how we can respond with faith and hope is here: https://www.london.anglican.org/articles/loving-our-neighbours-in-the-midst-of-coronavirus/
Foodbanks- the Trussell Trust have written a letter to Bishop Sarah and London churches, asking for specific support here: https://255urd2mucke1vdd43282odd-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Urgent-Letter-to-Church-Leaders-from-the-Trussell-Trust.pdf
As we find more good resources, we’ll continue to post them here. We particualrly know there is a need for a response to supporting those who find themselves homeless. We are working on that with various partners.
In the coming days / weeks, we’ll also be looking to set up online trainings to help you and your parish support your community, in the issues that this extraordinary situation will bring up, particuarly for the poorest and most vulnerable. More details will be posted here as we formulate them, and on the Diocesan website.
If there are questions you have, or things you need, please let us know. We can’t promise to do everything but will do what we can, and will also signpost to those others we work in partnership who may have the answers we do not.
And, of course, we’ll be praying.
We’ll be praying for you and with you, as we continue to dare to reach our compassionately to our communities boldly; our communities, who have never needed to know and see the practical outworking of the love of Jesus more.