Letter from the London District Chairs

New Guidance from the Methodist Church - Monday 23rd March 1.00pm

 

Dear Colleagues,

 

The District Chairs write to you with updated guidance from the Methodist Church, this will appear on the District Website by the end of the day. We are aware that this will not come as a surprise to you after recent government advice; however, we keep you all in our prayers and thoughts at this time.

 

The Methodist Church is announcing a closure of all its churches for the foreseeable future. The only exception will be for churches that are offering essential social outreach such as foodbanks, soup kitchens and night shelters, but these must be carried out closely within Government guidelines. The Methodist Church suspended worship services last week with some churches still opening for quiet prayer and reflection. This must now also be suspended. We would encourage people to use the available online resources at home which include downloadable services and links to online worship services.

 

The Revd Dr Jonathan Hustler, Secretary of the Conference said: “We are asking people to change their way of ‘going to church’ to help to protect themselves and others. We have put in place measures that will enable Methodists still to be part of the worshipping community, whilst for everyone’s sake staying away from church buildings. There is a range of resources available for people to use at home which we hope will help them to continue their cycle of prayer and worship. The Methodist Church is more than its buildings and if in these unprecedented times we can continue our life as Methodists without using our buildings we will help to reduce the chances of transmission of the virus.”

 

If you are running a foodbank or soup kitchen we would urge you to seek advice on how to operate as safely as possible, from central bodies such as the Trussell Trust or IFAN. In the first instance ensure that those at high risk are not volunteering and put at risk, minimise contact and observe social distancing, ensure people do not remain on the premises but take food away quickly and think through all your processes to minimise all unnecessary person to person contact. There should be no-one on the premises who doesn’t need to be there.

 

If you’re running a night shelter there is advice available here:

 

https://housingjustice.org.uk/what-we-do/night-shelters/wns-network-membership/coronavirus-advice-for-night-shelters

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-services-for-people-experiencing-rough-sleeping/covid-19-guidance-for-hostel-or-day-centre-providers-of-services-for-people-experiencing-rough-sleeping#use-of-shared-spaces-when-individuals-who-live-with-others-in-hostels-are-required-to-stay-in-their-room

 

 

With every blessing

 

Nigel and Jongi 

Published 23.03.2020

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