Coronavirus 

This page was last updated at 18:19 on Wednesday 13 May

There is a significant amount of information available in relation to the coronavirus. As a result, we have collated as much information as we can and recorded it below. Please choose one of the categories below for further details. We will provide updates as and when received.

(The * denotes a link to an external organisation. Please note that the London District is not responsible for the content of external websites.)

You are also invited to access various resources, streamed services and prayers via the links below.

 
 
Methodist Church Advice and Guidance

An update - issued Tuesday 12 May

A statement from the Revd Dr Jonathan Hustler, Secretary of the Conference:

 

“Methodists have missed being able to gather for worship in church buildings over the last two months and look forward to the resumption of public worship when it is safe for this to happen.

"The Church’s commitment to the pastoral care of its members and others has been at the forefront of our response and will continue to be. During the lockdown many congregations have shared in internet based services, usually broadcast from manses, following strict social distancing rules, and many people have continued to worship in their homes. Church communities have been creative in preparing worship materials and nationally we have a dedicated phone line for those who are not connected to the internet.

"The increased number of broadcast services on radio and television has helped to mitigate some of the sense of deprivation that people feel from a loss of fellowship. We would hope that those programmes continue to be scheduled as not all will be able to attend public worship even when all restrictions have been lifted.

"We recognise the paramount importance of the safety of members of the public and understand that any change to the current restrictions must be made with care.”

An update - issued Thursday 07 May

The Government is due to give an update on its lockdown guidance on Sunday May 10. We will consider any changes carefully and update our own guidance as necessary. The Secretary to the Conference will meet Ecumenical colleagues later this week and District Chairs and the Warden of the Diaconal Order on Monday May 11 and will discuss any possible changes with them.  As usual, any updates will be shared on the Methodist Church website and on our social media channels.

​*Lay Employment Advisory Information from the Methodist Church

This page contains information on the following:

  • Information on the job retention(furlough) scheme

  • Furlough confirmation letter template and explanation letter template

  • Employment related FAQ's for churches and circuits

  • Lay employment advisory pack

*Frequently asked questions:

The Methodist Church's frequently asked questions page is continually updated and contains information matters including, but not limited to:

*Church closures:

  • The Methodist Church has now issued guidance that all Methodist Churches are to close, including those currently open for quiet prayer and reflection. This does not include churches which provide essential services, such as food banks. There are however, guidelines about how these should be run. Closure also covers the live streaming of services in church buildings.

  • As churches will be closed, service sheets and resources for home worship are now available to download, You can access these resources here.

Information and Guidance from the District

Letter from the District Chairs - updated guidance from the Methodist Church re church closures

The London District Chairs have written a letter informing all London Ministers of the complete closure of church premises, in accordance with updated information from the Methodist Church. Please view the letter here.

List of radio stations for worship

As church worship services are suspended, we will all be looking for new ways to continue worshipping from our own homes. Radio is one such medium by which we can all come together in and continue to worship. Here is a list of radio stations offering worship services. If we have missed any, please contact us via email and we will update the list.

Insurance and Property Updates

*Information and Guidance from TMCP

*Methodist Church Shield Insurance Policy - Your Questions Answered

If you have questions about your church insurance policy, you may wish to have a read of this statement from Methodist Insurance. It provides information on the cover that applies to church insurance policy including liability and employees working from home. Read the full statement here.

*Guidance on Property from the Methodist Church

Guidance from the Property Team at the Methodist Church can be accessed here and provides advice on good practice in relation to unoccupied churches. 

Safeguarding Information

Domestic violence during the coronavirus lockdown

  • The Safeguarding Resources and Links page of the website features details of organisations which can offer support and guidance during the coronavirus lockdown.

  • Hestia has also launched a campaign to provide victims of domestic violence with safe spaces within Boots pharmacies. Read more on the campaign here.

The following documents offer advice and information on current COVID-19 scams, DBS information and an update on safeguarding training.

Guidance for Safeguarding Monitoring and Support Groups 

Guidance pertaining to the work of Monitoring and Support Groups has been circulated to all Superintendents and can also be found on the Safeguarding News page.  

*Government announcement on changes to DBS processes

To ensure that DBS checks can still be carried out, the government has announced some changes to the way in which documents can be verified. This includes viewing documents over video link. For the full announcement, please visit the government website. This information, along with other safeguarding notifications can also be found on our Safeguarding News page.

Employment related advice and guidance

*Lay Employment Advisory Information from the Methodist Church

This page contains information on the following:

  • Information on the job retention(furlough) scheme

  • Furlough confirmation letter template and explanation letter template

  • Employment related FAQ's for churches and circuits

  • Lay employment advisory pack

*ACAS (​Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service)

This website provides guidance and advice for both employers and employees in relation to matters including:

  • self-isolation and statutory sick pay

  • annual leave

  • if an employee needs time off to look after someone

*jaluch.co.uk

This website provides an extension question and answer page offering clarity on some of the following: 

  • short-time working / short term lay offs

  • health and safety measures

  • furloughing staff

​*XpertHR

This website provides information and guidance on HR related issues, conveniently listed categorically.

Finance related advice

Emergency Heritage Funding

  • Heritage Emergency Fund: offers short-term funding (grants between £3,000 - £50,000) to support the immediate actions needed to stabilise operations and manage unforeseen risk. Visit the website for more information. Application deadline is Tuesday 30 June.

  • Heritage Alliance: provides two 'hubs': the Guidance Hub and the Funding Hub. The first containing up-to-date information on the coronavirus and it's impact on heritage and the second containing potential funding opportunities. Both documents are continuously updated, and churches are invited to access these resources to locate information that may be of relevance.
     

*CAF Bank coronavirus emergency fund 

Churches and circuits may wish to consider applying to CAF bank for emergency funds to allow them to continue to deliver much needed support to their communities across the UK. Grants of up to £10,000 are available. There are strict criteria about what can and cannot be funded. All the information can be found on the CAF website.

Government advice and guidance

*Government key worker list includes religious workers:

The official list of personnel who can still send their children to school includes religious staff. The official list can be found on the Guardian website.

*Government guidance on social distancing:

Issued on 16 March, this link provides information on social distancing - what it is, who it applies to and what your options are in different situations (assistance with food and medicines for example). You can view this information here

*Foreign and Commonwealth Office Travel Guidance:

  • Current guidance from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all but essential travel to certain countries, cities and regions.

  • Should you be due to travel soon, please refer to the FCO website for updated advice pertaining specifically to your destination. 

Health advice

*NHS Guidance:

The NHS website provides extensive guidance on what to do if you have the symptoms of coronavirus, what steps you can take to reduce spreading the virus and avoid catching it. View the website here.

 

*Public Health England - Guidance and Updates

Information about the coronavirus, it's spread in the UK and government advice / guidance can be found at the Public Health England website

Volunteer Opportunities

*Volunteer opportunities with MHA (Methodist Homes Association)

MHA are seeking volunteers for a range of positions within their care homes and within their live at home communities. If you would like to find out more, please visit the MHA website.

*NHS Volunteer Responders - Your NHS needs you!

There is no doubt that we all want to do our bit to help others in this time of isolation. Whilst we are all being urged to play our part by staying at home; for those who are well and able to do more, please consider signing up to the NHS Volunteer Responders team.

This service will undoubtedly prove to be imperative for the most vulnerable in our communities. There are 4 positions available:

  • Community Response Volunteer

  • Patient Transport Volunteer

  • NHS Transport Volunteer and

  • Check in and Chat Volunteer

Information from Methodist Partners

Emergency Coronavirus Appeal

All We Can, the Methodist Church in Britain and World Development & Relief have launched an Emergency Coronavirus Appeal, to help equip vulnerable communities across the globe to combat Coronavirus (COVID-19). All We Can, the Methodist Church in Britain and World Development & Relief have already begun responding by providing essential grants to help churches overseas meet the challenges posed by Coronavirus, as well as providing staff on the frontline of Maua Methodist Hospital in Kenya with essential personal protective equipment. Anything that you give today with help us do more of this vital work. To find out more and donate to the appeal, please click here.

A message from All We Can

Methodist Church House is now closed and as this building is where our offices are located, we are now not able to access post addressed to 25 Marylebone Road, and it is not yet clear when we will be able to access the building. It is therefore, really important for our work to ensure lots of post doesn’t go missing or get returned, especially if it may contain money.

 

If you do have post for All We Can, please contact the Supporter Care Team on 020 7467 5132 (the office phone will redirect to the relevant person) or email us to make alternative arrangements. Or, if you have a donation to submit on behalf of a church, group or individual, can we encourage you to do that via the website.

If you would like to request our Bank Details in order to make a bank transfer, please contact the Supporter Care Team (contact details as above).

 

Please note – this does not mean that All We Can has ceased it’s work – poverty and injustice continue in our world and as the virus spreads to parts of the developing world, our commitment to working alongside local communities to help them fulfil their potential is more important than ever. The work continues.

 

You may also find our devotional materials designed for ‘worship at home’ helpful to people in your congregations and those who might be self-isolating.

Thank you for your patience with us in these strange times. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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