Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Latest Guidance

eNews 30 March, 2020

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Coronavirus - Funeral Updates and Parish Magazine Delivery

The Church of England has today updated its guidance on funerals and published new advice on the delivery of parish magazines, in the FAQs section of their Coronavirus website page.

Funerals may only happen at the Crematorium or at the graveside. Only immediate family members can attend (if the crematorium allows) – that is, spouse or partner, parents and children, keeping their distance in the prescribed way (this is true also for burial of ashes). No wake or gathering should be held following the funeral, and this should be scheduled for a later date.

New funeral and bereavement resources for clergy at this time of Coronavirus are available here.

Meanwhile, in terms of the delivery of parish magazines and other printed material, churches are encouraged instead to look to digital communication and telephone calls to keep in touch.

It comes after some studies suggested that Coronavirus can live on paper and cardboard surfaces for up to 24 hours, and so any paper delivery represents a transmission risk.

Local hand-deliveries also mean a volunteer will touch gates and postboxes and may come into close proximity with those who may be shielding.

The Government has designated postal workers and delivery professionals as key-workers, so any vital printed communication should be sent through the post.
Click here for latest Church of England advice
 
Coronavirus - Live streaming Licences

A number of churches have been in touch to query what licences are needed in order to live stream. Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI) confirms the following.

To live stream using Facebook, YouTube or Zoom, churches need their standard CCL licence plus a church streaming licence which is available from CCLI. The cost of the licences are calculated by the numbers in congregations.

Over 3,000 publishers and nearly 500,000 songs are covered with the CCLI licenses as above, representing the vast majority of Christian songs sung in worship services.So this allows for music to be performed live by a church member or for a recording of a church member's performance (subject to prior individual agreement with the performer).

It does not allow for the use of copyrighted music to be played from CDs, videos or cassettes. If such music were to be used it would be necessary to contact the individual copyright holder direct.

To live stream directly through your church's website, you would need both licences as above (CCL + Church Live streaming Licence) and you may also require a Limited Online Music Licence (LOML) from PRS for Music.

Any further queries should go to the customer care department at CCLI which is open Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm on 01323 436100.
 
There are still opportunities to book on to Church of England national webinars which explore how digital communications can keep a church connected during social distancing.

The live conversation is with the Church of England digital team and looks at how to use the different online platforms for free during this time. They are scheduled for:
  • 10am - Tuesday 31 March
  • 12pm - Thursday 2 April
 
Coronavirus - Safeguarding

As provided by Charles Proctor, the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser.

Things for clergy and others telephoning to consider during the pandemic (with thanks to Dr Deb Lee and the Royal College of General Practitioners). Whilst firstly aimed at GPs, this advice is good for all of us who are pastorally supporting others.

1: The risk of abuse is greatly heightened by the pandemic for the following reasons:
  • Families will be under increased amounts of stress due to new financial pressures, household isolation, school closures and lack of normal outlets for stress and frustrations. This particularly applies to already vulnerable children and adults who can no longer access their safe confidants
  • Adults who are vulnerable and isolated may be at increased risk of financial exploitation by some pretending to help under the guise of ‘COVID kindness’.
2: When phoning someone:
  • Check who you are talking to and introduce yourself, saying why you are calling
  • Check that the person is happy to talk to you 
  • Check if anyone else is in the house/room when you are talking and are they happy with that
  • Ask them if they feel safe. If they say they do not, explore why and consider whether you need to share that with your incumbent, or safeguarding lead (Parish Safeguarding Officer or Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser)
3: For families with young babies, be aware of and share the ICON message:
  • Infant crying is normal and it will stop! Babies start to cry more frequently from around 2 weeks of age.
  • Comfort methods can sometimes soothe the baby and the crying will stop. Is the baby hungry, tired or in need of a nappy change?
  • It’s Okay to walk away if you have checked the baby is safe and the crying is getting to you. After a few minutes when you are feeling calm, go back and check on the baby.
  • Never, ever shake or hurt a baby. It can cause lasting brain damage and death.
Safeguarding: Talking to children about their concerns
This is a concerning time for all of us, and children pick up on adults’ worries and anxieties. The NSPCC has put together a web page to support parents and carers - Talking to a child worried about Coronavirus (COVID-19).
 
Coronavirus - The Way 

The Coronavirus pandemic means that the Easter edition of The Way cannot be printed and distributed around the county as would normally happen.

However an online version of the newspaper has been produced and we are delighted to say that it is now available to read and download via the Diocesan website.

You will appreciate that as we finalised this edition the situation around the virus was incredibly fast-changing. We have been able to change some content to reflect matters, with our front page dedicated to the county's Coronavirus prayer and separate messages from all four of the leaders from the county's partner denominations.

The edition also explores the place of faith in politics with Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron. We hear of a Christian's mother's experience of loss, grief and hope following the death of her son to heroin. A South Lakes minister talks through her prepations to take on 10 marathons in 10 days for charity. And there's a chance to meet the woman who helps keep the world's largest humanitarian airline running.... from her back garden office in Carlisle. 

At this time - more than ever - it's so important that people are able to read about how God is moving in others' lives.Our faith connects us all.

Please do all you can to actively distribute this online link as widely as possible to those in church and beyond!
 
Coronavirus - Churches Connecting

Churches across Cumbria continue to connect in new and varied ways.

Barrow Mission Community has taken a Sunday morning slot on the area's local community radio, CANDO FM, broadcasting to all of Furness, around 10.30am on a Sunday. Those in the mission community see it as a way of serving those without online access. 
While churches in the Penrith Mission Area have teamed up with Eden FM, to broadcast a half-hour Sunday Service at 10am which is led by ecumenical leaders. The station has also introduced a 'Thought For The Day’ which will be broadcast every Sunday at 7.30 am.
 
Coronavirus - Prayer Diary

Please do continue to use and share as widely as possible the prayer which has been composed for Cumbria, as follows:
 
Loving God, as your Son healed the sick
And brought good news to the needy
Be with us this day.
Loving Jesus as you taught us to
‘Do unto others as you would have them do to you’
Be with all the medical staff this day.
Loving spirit, your gift is healing,
Bring your healing fire to our homes, our hospitals and our county,
But most of all, be with us this day. Amen
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