UPDATE 18TH MARCH 6.30PM still relevant as at 20th March
The Church of England continues to update it's website with the latest news.
The BBC are working towards broadcasting services on local radio and a service on TV if they are allowed. Please see the BBC website for more details.
Our prayers are with you all at this difficult time.
Update 17th March 1.15pm
In light of the advice from the Government yesterday the Church of England has issued a directive that we cancel all church services for the moment. Please see the news on this link.
Every blessing. BJ (Revd BJ Facey Vicar of St Peter's)
Update 16th March
Our prayers are with everyone who is struggling with all the news that is coming out hourly in some cases and the fear it is causing. Please remember when you are shopping to buy what you need and not panic buy. If we work together there will be enough for all. Panic buying is putting the elderly and vulnerable at risk.
There is information at https://www.gov.uk about how to keep yourself safe and what to do if you feel you might have the virus and need to self isolate.
Take care, be caring of others and respectful of our shop workers, health workers and others who are working hard to keep things as normal as possible.
Update 14th March
Information is changing fairly fast. Please use the link below for up to date information from the Church of England Website. Thank you.
Update 13th March
The information from 10th March is still being followed. Our services on Sunday will be held as usual. We have been unable to secure any hand sanitiser gel but there are hand washing facilities in the church with soap and disposable paper towels so please use these when you arrive. We will be suspending the serving of refreshments for the moment.
We are here for you to pray and help as far as we are able. please do keep in touch. Contact details are at the foot of this page.
Update 10th March
St Peter's Ministry Team and Church Wardens are taking as many precautions as we are able to keep people safe at church services.
If a member of staff should develop symptoms of any sort they will stay at home and seek advice. We are also asking the congregation to inform the Vicar on 01332 704835 should anyone become ill and receive a positive diagnosis. In this event the relevant authorities will be informed and a deep clean of the church will take place.
We are following the Church of England's and Governments advice about church services and will keep this page updated as often as we can. Below you will find the advice we have received from the Archbishops updated on 10.03.2020.
Guidance for churches
Current Government advice is that individuals should follow good hygiene practices including:
• carrying tissues and using them to catch coughs and sneezes, and binning the tissue;
• washing hands with soap and water (for 20 seconds) or using sanitiser gel to kill germs.
Advice has also been issued to travellers who have returned to the UK from a number of countries.
Anyone who has returned to the UK from any of these areas in the last 14 days and develops symptoms of cough or fever or shortness of breath, should immediately:
• stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu;
• call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the country.
It is our view, in light of the continued increase of COVID-19 cases in the United Kingdom, that it is now necessary to suspend the administration of the chalice as well as physical contact during the sharing of the peace, blessing or "laying on of hands". We therefore advise that all priests should:
• Offer Communion in one kind only to all communicants i.e. the consecrated bread/wafer/host, with the priest alone taking the wine;
• suspend handshaking or other direct physical contact during the sharing of the peace;
• suspend direct physical contact as part of a blessing or ‘laying on of hands’.
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have written to clergy to update on this guidance.
It is also best practice for churches to have hand-sanitisers available for parishioners to use.
In addition, priests presiding at the Eucharist, communion administrators and servers should wash their hands, preferably with an alcohol-based (minimum 60%) hand-sanitiser.
Intinction (dipping the bread in the chalice) is not recommended (even by celebrants or communion-administrators) as this represents an infection transmission route as well as a risk to those with certain allergies.
Best hygiene practice should continue to be observed in all pastoral contacts.
Advice from Public Health England
Public Health England recommends that you should take usual infection prevention precautions including:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. This is particularly important after taking public transport.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• If you feel unwell, stay at home, do not attend work or school.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin. Download a poster from NHS England with guidance.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home and work environment.
To date we haven't been informed of any cases in this area. We are encouraging people to be sensible and follow government advice as far as cleanliness and refraining from panic buying are concerned. We are actively praying for our community and by taking care of each other we will come through this.
Revd BJ Facey (Vicar) tel 01332 704835, mobile 07732349966, email [email protected]