Covid-19 Advice, May 2020
Coronavirus Covid-19 Update
The Archbishops and Bishops of the Church of England have urged everyone to follow the instructions given by the Prime Minister to stay in their homes in a national effort to limit the transmission of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
It means all Church of England churches, including ours, are still closed in line with the Government’s instructions for the time being. Sadly there will also be no weddings or baptisms. Funerals can still go ahead but with significant restrictions, and not in church buildings (see below). Those which have happened already have been quiet but deeply respectful.
We are continuing to provide pastoral care, but by telephone and electronic communication instead of face-to-face. That means that we will not be able to offer home communion or home visits. If you would like someone to talk to, or to pray with you, or to offer spiritual guidance, please use the contact details given elsewhere on these pages, for the Rector and local church contacts.
Public Worship is now On-line on our YouTube Channel
We are pleased to have launched our Mission Community’s very own YouTube Channel. The Mission Community includes a wider group of churches and communities over through Bolton, Morland and Crosby Ravensworth to Lowther and Askham, and is done in collaboration with the Methodist churches in the area. As there are no public Church services until further notice, we will be broadcasting short ecumenical Sunday services here, lasting around 30 minutes, together with additional material, and mid-week services, updated weekly. Do join us.
Weddings, Funerals and Christenings (Baptisms)
In line with the Government’s instructions, there will be no weddings or baptisms until further notice. For emergency baptisms please ring our Rector, Revd Clive Hicks, on 017682 54409.
Funerals can still go ahead but at the graveside or crematorium only, with only the closest family in attendance and essential physical distancing measures in place.
We regret that all our Churches are now closed to the public until further notice.
A number of initiatives to help the Church to pray at this time are available on the national Church’s website. Please keep an eye on it as more resources become available.
In addition, we are pleased to recommend “Time To Pray” a FREE downloadable App for your phone.
Communications and Online Groups
We have also started using technology such as WhatsApp and Zoom to conduct both small groups and necessary business meetings.
Official Church meetings have been paused until further notice.
Our Annual Parochial Church Meetings (APCMs) are also postponed until further notice. The Bishop of Carlisle has issued an instrument:
o To extend the office of elected lay members of the PCC to the conclusion of the delayed APCM.
o To extend the period of office of those Deanery Synod lay representatives until the conclusion of the delayed APCM.
o To extend the period of office for the current Churchwardens until their successors have been appointed and
o To extend the admission date for Churchwardens beyond 31 July 2020 to 31 January 2021.
This is a complex situation, susceptible to mixed messages and misinformation, which can have serious consequences. We are doing all we can to ensure a co-ordinated approach across the Deanery, with the Diocese, the National Church and our Methodist partners. Please refer only to official information and try to abstain from sending your own communications about the current situation or the Church’s response. If we have overlooked anything relevant to your situation, please contact Clive.
Upper Eden Foodbank
Please note that that the fantastic Foodbank is still receiving and distributing as normal, and we know that many families have suffered loss of income as a result of covid-19.
We encourage people to be in touch with us, particularly if you are anxious. Revd Clive Hicks (Rector) and Revd Peter Boyles (Associate Priest) ask you to be patient in waiting for a response, but we do recommend that you phone us if you have a pastoral issue and leave a message if required.
Our prayers are with you all.
Clive Hicks Peter Boyles
Rector Associate Priest
T: 017682 54409 T: 017683 54161
M: 075852 66757
Heart of Eden Benefice
The Heart of Eden Benefice is part of the wider Heart of Westmorland Mission Community, alongside ecumenical partners.