Diocese of Manchester

Coronavirus support

LATEST GUIDANCE

Updated 12 August 2020 – 17:30

The draft Church of England advice relating to the mandatory wearing of face coverings in places of worship (published on 8 August 2020) has been confirmed. All relevant FAQs have been updated.

On 11 August 2020 the FAQ: “What should we do about our APCM” was updated and a new FAQ: “What are the first steps we should take if we believe there has been a local outbreak?" was added.

On 12 August 2020 a new FAQ: “What is the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage” was added.

IMPORTANT UPDATE – DIOCESAN ADVICE FOLLOWING GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENT ON 30 JULY 2020 

08:42 Friday 31 July 2020 

An outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has been identified in parts of Greater Manchester, East Lancashire, and West Yorkshire. The government and relevant local authorities are acting together to control the spread of the virus.

As a result from 31 July 2020 the government have introduced new restrictions in parts of the North West of England – and this applies to parts of the Diocese of Manchester. The full list of lockdown areas that are within the Diocese of Manchester are listed below:

  • City of Manchester
  • Trafford
  • Stockport
  • Oldham
  • Bury
  • Wigan
  • Bolton
  • Tameside
  • Rochdale
  • Salford
  • Blackburn with Darwen
  • Rossendale

The following information provides advice and guidance about what the lockdown means for our churches:

Worship

  • Our church buildings can remain open for individual private prayer and for worship. However they must only do so if they are Covid-19 secure.
  • It is permissible to attend a place of worship, where Covid-19 Secure guidance applies, but you must socially distance from people outside of your household. This means maintaining a distance of 2 metres, or 1 metre with mitigations (such as wearing face coverings).
  • The government recommend at this time that, if possible, prayer/religious services take place outdoors.
  • Those attending a place of worship should not socialise with people they do not live with.

Weddings

  • Weddings can go ahead in the lockdown areas
  • Weddings should be limited to no more than 30 people and subject to COVID-19 Secure guidelines.
  • wedding services are required to be held inside a licensed building
  • People living outside the lockdown areas may travel into the areas to attend a wedding, but should not go into a private home or garden.

Funerals

  • Funerals can still take place in the lockdown areas
  • Funerals should be limited to no more than 30 people and subject to Covid-19 Secure guidelines
  • People living outside the lockdown areas may travel into the areas to attend a funeral.

Use of Church Halls/Church Buildings for Community Use

  • It is permitted for activities to take place in community centres (which includes church halls) as long as they follow Covid-19 Secure Guidelines.
  • People should not socialise with people they do not live with in indoor public venues
  • Those who run activities should take steps to ensure people do not interact with people they do not live with, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidance.

Meetings

  • The government continue to advise that where meetings can take place virtually they should be held virtually.
  • It is not illegal to meet in person – but it is strongly discouraged.

Shielding

  • Shielding will continue – it will not be eased in Blackburn with Darwen in line with the rest of the country from 1 August 2020

Click here for the full Government Guidance.

As further information emerges from the government our advice will be updated accordingly. Please continue to check the website frequently.

Pastoral Support during the Coronavirus Emergency

A new page offers practical advice and online resources to help you take care of yourself as you care for others during the pandemic

Pastoral Support page

Frequently Asked Questions

The national church has a comprehensive list of FAQs which is constantly being updated. We are following national guidance and recommend that you check the Church of England FAQ section daily.
In light of the publication of guidance from the Church of England regarding the mandatory wearing of face coverings in churches from 8 August 2020 the FAQs have all been reviewed and were updated on 7 August 2020 to reflect the current position.


Is there any advice about the measures to avoid a local lockdown in Oldham? 

(New FAQ 29 July 2020)

On 28 July 2020 Oldham Council issued the following updated advice for residents across the borough to avoid a local lockdown.
To help halt the spread of the virus and avoid local lockdown we are issuing new guidance for Oldham residents and businesses.
This guidance begins today and will continue for the next two weeks.

  • To reduce spread between households, we are advising that you do not have social visitors to your home, outside of those in your support bubble
  • To ensure we protect older and vulnerable people, our care homes will not relax restrictions on care home visiting
  • We are advising those who are clinically vulnerable whose shielding should have come to an end from 31 July to extend shielding for a further two weeks from that date (to 14 August).

We’re urging residents to continue to take the risk of coronavirus seriously and to comply with current guidelines.

Further information is available from Oldham Council

Bishop David and the Bishop’s Leadership Team fully endorse and support this advice and strongly encourage everyone to adhere to it.

All covid-19 secure parish risk assessments should be constantly reviewed and monitored as a matter of course. However, in the light of this very recent advice from Oldham Council the opportunity to review risk assessments and mitigation measures would be prudent in this area of the diocese.

Are face coverings necessary during services and weddings? 

(updated - 11 August 2020)

From 8 August 2020 face coverings will be required by law to be worn in a greater number of public indoor settings. This includes places of worship.

Worshippers should wear face coverings consistent with the requirements for any other public space.

There are valid exemptions for some individuals and groups not to wear a face covering in these settings:

  • Those who are leading services or events in a place of worship and those who assist them (for instance by reading, preaching or leading prayer) do not always need to wear a face covering. A face covering should be worn especially when physical distanced cannot be maintained (ie distributing consumables).
  • Government guidance indicates some health, age, or equality reasons for which people may not be expected to wear face coverings.
  • Clergy and ministers are encouraged to be sensitive to the needs of those who rely on lip reading, facial expressions, or clear sound.
  • Other assisting ministers should wear a face covering at all times, except:
    • when proclaiming a reading or leading prayers, or when leading another part of the service, provided that they are able to maintain physical distancing from other individuals whilst doing so (i.e. at a lectern);
    • when receiving Holy Communion

On 7 August 2020 The Church of England published an advice document that is available to download: Advice on Face Coverings

Can public worship take place in our churches? 

(updated 11 August)

The government has advised that our church buildings can be opened for public worship from 4 July as long as this can be done safely.

The Church of England have provided very detailed information and advice to support parishes as public worship recommences:

This document was updated on 7 August 2020 to include specific advice about Face Coverings: Advice on the Conduct of Public Worship

The key points are:

  • An advisory ‘cap’ of 30 has been set for weddings and other ‘stand-alone’ services such as baptism and confirmation if not conducted during ‘routine communal worship’.
  • There is no numerical ‘cap’ on other services, but social distancing and Public Health requirements must be met.
  • The two-metre ‘rule’ applies for public worship except in situations where closer contact cannot be avoided; extra Public Health precautions must then be taken.
  • Consideration should be given to keeping numbers below the maximum possible to further minimise risk.
  • While those at extra risk and the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ should be advised of the risks of attending public worship, a decision to do so is theirs alone.
  • Government guidance includes a request for names of attendees to be recorded and kept for 21 days to assist ‘track and trace’ if required (A separate FAQ relating to Test and Trace is provided on this website).
  • Singing, chanting and playing of brass or woodwind instruments are not recommended, but a further update will follow soon.
  • Detailed instructions on ‘consumables’ suggest that services of Holy Communion can be held if specific guidance is followed, including the continued suspension of the Common Cup (see the guidance document on Holy Communion).

Public worship guidance includes surrounding grounds (including churchyards, car parks and courtyards); meetings in other places should follow other guidance for people meeting in public spaces.

Bishop’s Leadership Team wish emphasise the following:

  • initially we only need to open one church building for public worship in each benefice.
  • worship will look, sound and feel different.
  • the requirements for Holy Communion are quite detailed and it may be that not every service will be Eucharistic
  • it is important to plan well, start small and build up to a place where everyone feels confident that we can worship together safely.

The Church of England have introduced a blog which shares a range of options for churches to share services and events online as doors are reopened for prayer, worship and life events. Access blog here

Has the Church of England Risk Assessment Template been updated to deal with matters relating to face coverings?

(New FAQ – 7 August 2020)

Yes. The latest version of the risk assessment template was published on 7 August 2020.

This latest version includes risk factors around the requirement to wear face coverings in places of worship from 8 August 2020: Risk Assessment for Opening Church Buildings to the Public.

Is it okay to worship in a public outdoor space? 

(New FAQ – 27 July 2020)

A. Yes, but the precautions you need to take depend on how many people attend.

If no more than 30 people gather, social distancing guidelines should be followed. That means people should not interact in groups larger than two households or six people. A risk assessment should be conducted, which includes security, and guidance on physical distancing and other good hygiene practices implemented in relation to the COVID 19 virus. You can assess the capacity limits in the same way as you would for the inside of the building taking into account current rules on physical distancing.

If you are intending holding a gathering of more than 30 people in a churchyard or other public outdoor space, you must first carry out a more thorough risk assessment. Guidance for this level of risk assessment, and a template, are provided by the HSE. You must demonstrate that you have taken all reasonable measures to limit the risk of transmission of coronavirus using any guidance issued by the Government relevant to the gathering, such as: Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer public places - urban centres and green spaces.

If you do not manage the public outdoor space you should liaise with those responsible for the open space in question to ensure that the worship can be staged in a safe way that complies with what is said above.

Can we sing in church?

(New FAQ – 13 July 2020)

There should be no group singing inside churches when worshippers are present.

If worshipping in a churchyard small groups of professional singers (those who are employed to do so) will be able to sing in front of worshippers. Singing in groups should be limited to professional singers only and should be limited to a small set group of people.

Both the singers and the worshippers should be outdoors, as defined as a place of worship.

When inside churches, where essential to an act of worship, one individual only should be permitted to sing or chant, and the use of plexi-glass screens should be considered to protect worshippers from them, as this will further prevent transmission and the screen can be easily cleaned.

Groups of professional singers are now able to rehearse and record in churches and church halls for broadcast.

Volunteer choirs and non-professional singers may not rehearse in churches and church halls or record there for broadcast. 

Is it possible to ring church bells? 

(New FAQ – 30 July 2020)

Yes, the latest Church of England guidance confirms that Church Bells can be rung. However it is on the basis that the guidance agreed between the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers and the Church of England is followed.

The expectation is ringers have read the guidance and undertaken the ringing risk assessment. The ringing risk assessment is accessed here.

What do churches need to do about Test and Trace?

(updated 11 August 2020)

On 7 August 2020 the Church of England revised their guidance in relation to Test and Trace: NHS Test & Trace Data.

This reflects the increasing importance of NHS Test and Trace to combat COVID-19 and to improve clarity on how churches can support this.

Along with other venues where people spend time churches are strongly encouraged to keep a record of those who have attended to facilitate NHS Test and Trace in the event of an outbreak of coronavirus. The Church of England have now produced a detailed advice note that all churches are encouraged to read: NHS Test & Trace Data.

In addition, the following templates are now available for churches to use:

What are the first steps we should take if we believe there has been a local outbreak?

(New FAQ – 11 August 2020)

The government has produced an action card. It includes all relevant steps that should be followed.

Download action card.

Holy communion advice

(updated 11 August 2020)

The Church of England Guidance for the administration of Holy Communion has now been updated: Advice on the Administration of Holy Communion

Amendments have been made to reflect new advice on the use of face coverings, including removing them to receive Holy Communion.

Particular attention is drawn to the following: 

  • Those who are officiating at services and presiding at Holy Communion, and those who assist them (for instance by reading, preaching, or leading prayers) do not always need to wear a face covering, although one should be worn especially if physical distancing cannot be maintained (i.e. at the distribution of Holy Communion). This exemption does not apply to worshippers.
  • In practice, at a service of Holy Communion, the president should always wear a face covering: 
    • when physical distancing cannot be maintained (for instance when moving around);
    • at the distribution of Holy Communion 
  • Other assisting ministers and all other members of the congregation should wear a face covering at all times, except: 
    • when proclaiming a reading or leading prayers, or when leading another part of the service, provided that they are able to maintain physical distancing from other individuals whilst doing so (i.e. at a lectern);
    • when receiving Holy Communion 

Funeral Advice 

(updated 11 August 2020)

The government have advised that from 4 July 2020 Funerals should have no more than 30 people in attendance, and physical distancing should be strictly adhered to.

The Church of England guidance in relation to funerals was updated on 7 August 2020: Advice for Conducting Funerals.

This version has been updated to reflect the change in the law requiring face coverings be worn in places of worship from 8 August 2020.

The aim of this advice is to support clergy and others who take funerals. Every parish and each church building is different and there can be no single solution.

Parishes and clergy will need to assess how, and in some cases whether, they are able to conduct funerals safely in the light of the advice below. This advice follows government guidance which may change and, if so, will be updated accordingly.

Burial of ashes is permitted. If a service does go forward, similar advice will apply with regard to social distancing and hygiene; and managing the numbers of mourners.

Wedding Advice 

(updated 11 August 2020)

From 4 July, the Government has allowed for weddings in places of worship, providing certain public health criteria are met including an advised maximum number of 30 people in attendance. (This does not include staff or volunteers employed by the church such as vergers or churchwardens.)

On 7 August 2020 The Church of England updated their detailed advice document on conducting weddings: Advice for clergy conducting weddings.

This version has been updated to reflect the change in the law requiring face coverings be worn in places of worship from 8 August 2020

There are valid exemptions for some individuals and groups to not wear a face covering at a wedding.These exemptions also cover the bride and groom at a wedding and those officiating/leading the wedding.

This exemption does not apply to those observing the wedding, who should wear face coverings consistent with the requirements for any other public space.

The advice also confirms that wedding receptions or parties are currently not permitted following a change in government advice on 31 July 2020. This will be re-assessed by government according to public health information.

Baptism Advice 

(updated 11 August 2020)

From 4 July 2020 baptisms can go ahead providing appropriate steps are taken to minimise risk.

The Church of England have updated the guidance on baptisms: Advice for Clergy Conducting Baptisms which provides detailed information and advice which is intended to assist clergy as they think through the best way of celebrating baptism:

This version has been updated to reflect the change in the law requiring face coverings be worn in places of worship from 8 August 2020

A baptism should have no more than 30 people present, unless it takes place during ‘routine communal worship’ (e.g. a Sunday morning service).

Confirmation Advice

(updated 11 August 2020)

Confirmations are permitted to take place from 4 July 2020.

On 7 August 2020 The Church of England have updated their advice that is intended to assist clergy in preparing for a confirmation service, which may include baptism and/or other rites of initiation: Advice for the conduct of Confirmation services

This version has been updated to reflect the change in the law requiring face coverings be worn in places of worship from 8 August 2020

Government guidance has limited the numbers at ‘life cycle events’ (such as confirmation) up to 30 people, where they are held outside of regular worship.

If the confirmation is held within a regular act of worship, then the physical restrictions of the building need to be assessed for how many it can hold safely with physical distancing.

Any parishes that are seeking to have confirmation services should contact the office of the relevant Bishop to make the appropriate arrangements.

Is there any advice and resources to support activities for children and young people in our churches?

(Updated 23 July 2020)

The Church of England have confirmed that activities for Children and Young People organised by the place of worship alongside or within a service or at other times during the week are now permitted.

They should follow principles in the general guidance from the Department for Education on Out of School Settings.

In outline, these recommend that, to reduce the risk of transmission, children and young people who attend should be kept in small, consistent groups, and of no more than fifteen children and at least one staff member. Children should be assigned to a particular class or group and should then stay in those consistent groups for future sessions and avoid mixing with other groups in your setting.

If possible, those attending should practise physical distancing in line with the government’s current guidance. As the risk of transmission is considerably lower outdoors, providers who normally run sessions indoors should consider whether they are able to do so safely outside on their premises.

The Diocesan Children and Youth Advisers Network has produced specific resources to assist: Mission and Ministry with Children, Young People & Families in a Church Setting

This advice was updated on 21 July 2020 to reflect the government advice regarding face coverings.

Do we need permission to make adaptations for social distancing or hygiene measures in our church buildings?

Permission may be required, depending on what is needed to be installed, moved or removed.

The Church of England has issued specific advice on gaining permission for temporary changes Download here.

In this diocese, the Chancellor has advised that:

[1] Free-standing hand sanitisers may be placed on a table or other object in the porch or near the entrance to a Church without the need for a Faculty.

[2] Requests for interim Faculties for wall-mounted hand sanitisers are discouraged and are unlikely to be granted save in exceptional circumstances. Applications will be determined by the Chancellor on their individual merits. If he is persuaded that it is necessary for such to be installed, an interim Faculty will be granted for a limited period of no more than 12 months on condition that any fixings are drilled through mortar joints in any wall, if appropriate, and after such hand sanitisers are removed, the wall shall be made good within 28 days.

[3] Temporary signage and cordoning does not require a Faculty.

[4] Lists A and B continue to apply.

For any queries, parishes are advised to contact their Archdeacon or email dac@manchester.anglican.org

How can pastoral support be provided within the community?

One of the church’s most important areas of ministry is pastoral care. The usual ways of undertaking this have been very significantly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Whilst innovative ways are being found to keep in touch and offer care, the usual route of face to face visiting has not been possible in most situations. This has been challenging and distressing for very many clergy and lay ministers as well as for those who receive such care.

The Church of England has now produced specific guidance giving Advice on pastoral support in the community, including care homes.

Is it possible for nurseries to operate in church buildings and other church-owned property?

  • The latest Church of England advice is that, as of 1 June, places of worship may open for early years' childcare provided by a person registered on the Early Years Register under Part 3 of the Childcare Act 2006. (Early Years provision in church halls or other buildings not designated places of worship is also permitted, subject to the same rules as other school and nursery settings.)
  • Places of Worship must continue to meet all existing health and safety obligations with regard to ensuring that their premises are safe for providers to hire and to operate from. Once Early Year providers reopen and are operating from premises in Community Settings and Places of Worship, it is for the early year’s provider to ensure that they are following government guidance on implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings, as well as all existing requirements set out in the statutory framework for the EYFS.
  • This advice is very specific and only applies to the provision of nursery facilities – it does not apply to other groups/activities. For example: mother/toddler groups, playgroups are still not permitted to meet.

Is it permissible for community activities to take place in church buildings and other church-owned property?

(updated 7 August 2020)

The use of church premises for essential community work has always been permissible during lockdown.

The Government have confirmed that the premises of a place of worship can be used by other user groups, where those activities are permitted by law to take place.

With this in mind the diocese now advises:

  • Individual PCCs can determine if their premises can be used by other user groups, to undertake activities that are permitted by law. Activities and businesses that cannot yet operate are listed in this guidance

This information is for those managing multi-use community facilities. It signposts to relevant guidance on a range of different activities that can take place in these spaces, in line with the government’s roadmap to ease the existing measures to tackle COVID-19.

Particular attention is drawn to the following sections of the guidance:

  • Section 2 Core principles for safely reopening community facilities
  • Section 3a: Early years and youth provision
  • Section 3b: Voluntary sector and other service provision
  • Section 3c: Recreation, leisure and social gatherings
  • Section 3d: Meetings and civic functions

From 8 August 2020 face coverings are mandatory on public transport and in a range of indoor venues including places of worship and church halls.

When schools re-open can church buildings be used by schools as a place of worship or gathering?

(updated 1 July 2020)

Yes, Government guidance does not prohibit school groups from coming into church, providing any use is in line with Government guidance for safe operation of schools and places of worship.

Can members of clergy and foundation school governors enter a school building?

You should contact your Head teacher about access arrangements and follow the school guidance. More information about school opening can be found on the Government website.

Is it possible to undertake construction work at churches?

Yes. It is possible to carry out construction work. The guidance provided by the Church of England Opening church buildings for works to the building and interior must be followed and the Risk assessment template for contractors and construction workers completed.

Has the faculty jurisdiction been suspended?

(updated 7 August 2020)

No, faculty jurisdiction has not been temporarily suspended.

If the works concerned require faculty or List B approval, this is still needed and you must not proceed without the necessary approval being in place.

Where a need to undertake urgent repairs arises, please contact your Archdeacon in the first instance. If an interim faculty approval is necessary, the Archdeacon will contact the Registry and permission will be sought from the Chancellor. Please be aware that the Chancellor has already indicated that he will need to be persuaded that an interim faculty is the only option open to the parish concerned.

Any questions or queries can be submitted to DAC@manchester.anglican.org

The specific advice about the display of public notices for faculty applications (issued on 1 April 2020) has been updated as follows:

In respect of Churches that are now open for Public Worship, the Chancellor has revoked the Direction `The Requirements for a Public Notice and Covid-19` issued on 31 March 2020 but when considering an application for a faculty he will still require to be reassured that steps have been taken to bring to the attention of parishioners generally, using WhatsApp, social media, email, websites etc., details of the proposed works and a contact email address at the Diocesan Registry together with a date by which objections shall be made, not being less than 28 days from the start of the notification.

However, the Direction will remain in force for those Churches which are not open for Public Worship until they open for Public Worship.

Any questions or queries about this can be submitted to dm@mandioreg.co.uk

What should we do about our APCM?

(updated 10 August 2020)

Parishes which have NOT yet held their APCM

  • For those parishes which have not yet held their meeting of parishioners to elect churchwardens and APCMs to elect PCC members and deanery synod reps the deadline has been extended from 31 May 2020 to 31 October 2020 and there will not be any further extension to this deadline, given the risks of further spikes and restrictions, it would be unwise of any parish to assume that further delay would make a face to face meeting more likely to be achievable
  • It is permissible for the 2020 meetings to be held virtually using electronic means, including by telephone conference, video conference, live webcast and live interactive streaming. (This also allows for a “hybrid” arrangement whereby some attendees might be present in person and some might be present via virtual means)
  • A person is to be regarded as present at the meeting if the person is able to hear and be heard, and where practicable see and be seen, by the other persons present
  • A vote may be taken by such method of voting as may be determined by the Chair
  • The term of office for churchwardens who were chosen in 2019 is extended until 31 January 2021
  • The term of office of serving lay members of deanery synods is extended until 30 November

As regards the practical requirement of advertising the arrangements for the annual meetings to all those eligible to attend, the usual display of notices is still required (i.e. at least the last two Sundays before the date of the meeting) but it is strongly recommended that this is supplemented by the PCC taking steps to bring to the attention of parishioners generally the arrangements by using WhatsApp, social media, email, websites, parish newsletters, invitation letters etc.

Nomination forms will still need to be completed but rule 76 of the new Church Representation Rules provides that a ‘communication sent by email is to be treated as being in writing if it is received in a form which is legible and capable of being used for subsequent reference.’ As such, nomination forms can be accepted via email if hard copy signatures cannot be obtained.

Again it is recommended that the process for nominating and seconding is approved by the PCC and publicised to the parishioners. Other than accepting emails, the PCC may need to be creative where it is known that individuals are shielding or quarantining at home, for example suggesting that arrangements are made for someone to collect nomination forms and deliver them to others to sign as proposer, seconder or nominee, or that individuals make use of the post. PCCs may also need to consider making all forms available well in advance of the meeting date in order to allow sufficient time for them to be circulated and delivered to the Chair in good time prior to the meeting.

Please also be aware that the new Church Representation Rules permit:

  • if desired, an application for enrolment on the electoral roll (Form 1) to be completed, signed electronically and submitted by email where the PCC has provided an email address;
  • the PCC to publish the electoral roll in such form (whether electronic or otherwise) as it decides, and the roll as published (together with the copy made available for inspection) must include every name entered on the roll but no other personal data; and
  • the publication of financial statements electronically.

If any further advice or clarification is required, please contact Donna Myers (dm@mandioreg.co.uk).

Can parishes continue to hold PCC meetings? 

(Updated 1 July 2020)

The Government continue to recommend that where meetings can take place digitally without the need for face-to-face contact, they should continue to do so.

Parochial church councils can, if they wish, meet using virtual means such as Skype or Zoom which enable the members to see and hear each other. (Zoom and other platforms also allow people to participate using a conventional landline or basic mobile phone, using the dial in facility. You don’t have to have a webcam and microphone, nor a smart phone.)

However, care must be taken so that members of a PCC who are unable to participate in a meeting in that way are not excluded from the PCC’s deliberations and decision making. The Chair should take steps to ensure that they are able to participate so far as possible, including where necessary by means of the procedure for conducting business by correspondence set out in rule M29 of the Church Representation Rules.

It is recommended that following a virtual meeting, decisions such as the authorising of expenditure, entering into contracts or those that require a formal resolution of the PCC are put in written form and circulated for formal approval under the correspondence procedure in rule M29, which under Rule 76 can be conducted by email.

Specific advice about holding PCC meetings is available on the CofE website.

How can parishes be helped to give financially during this time?

There are a wide range of options available and there is diocesan officer help and support to assist. Parishes are encouraged, in the first instance, to contact Paul.Bailey@manchester.anglican.org

IS IT OKAY TO DELIVER MAGAZINES AND NEWSLETTERS?

(Updated 1 July)

Coronavirus COVID-19 may live on paper and cardboard surfaces for up to 24 hours, so any paper delivery represents a transmission risk.

For this reason, parishes are encouraged to look at digital communication, and telephone calls to keep in touch.


What is the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage?

(New FAQ – 12 August 2020)

The Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage is part of the £1.57 billion rescue package announced by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to safeguard cultural and heritage organisations across the UK from the economic impact of COVID-19.

Further information, including full details about eligibility and the application process is available via the following link: https://www.heritagefund.org.uk/funding/culture-recovery-fund-for-heritage-0

Applications need to be submitted by midnight on Monday 17 August 2020.

We are constantly updating our Frequently Asked Questions on this page and signposting to advice from the national Church. If you have a question not answered in either of these places, you can contact the Diocesan Coronavirus Response Group at pandemic@manchester.anglican.org

Prayers

A prayer from an Assistant Head Teacher in Burnage

Dear Lord, at this time we pray for school leaders that you will give them peace and wisdom to make the right decisions. Help them to manage the demands of the government, with the needs of the children, the needs and wants of parents and the desires of staff. Help all who work in schools to stay safe as they currently care for the children of key workers and vulnerable children and work towards the next steps of reopening.

We pray for peace for all those anxious about the reopening of schools potentially from 1st June and the risks that carries with it. We pray that the right decisions will be made. We ask for good discussions to take place between the government and the teaching unions and that there will be positive outcomes from these.

We give thanks that some families have been able to spend quality time together during lockdown. We also pray for those families who have found lockdown challenging; for some because they are struggling to meet the needs of their children; for others who are balancing trying to work from home whilst also home educating their children; while others are facing financially difficulty or suffering from ill health.

We give thanks for the many different agencies that have supported schools as they continue to meet the wide ranging needs of their communities and we pray that the new partnerships formed will go from strength to strength.

Overall we pray, Lord, that you will protect the children in our schools and keep them well in body and in mind and we pray that we will overcome this virus so that children can return to school safely. Lord in your mercy; Hear our prayer.



A prayer from a school governor

“They just talk and talk”. Lord, this is what teachers have found when children have recently joined the provision for key workers having been at home for weeks.

Father of us all, our children are suffering. Adults in their homes may be too busy to talk to them. They miss their friends and they miss just talking. They are under-stimulated.

Lord, bring healing to body, mind and soul of our children especially as they start to return to school and give staff great skill in supporting and helping these children as they rediscover relationships outside the home and talk and talk.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.



A prayer for those working from home

Father of creation, the structure and the shape of our days are so different.

There are so many distractions at home and there is a huge temptation to spend more time working than we did before lockdown.

Help us to use our time wisely, to invest in the relationships most important to us and to take proper breaks.

May we rediscover a new shape to our days that is centred and guided by your Spirit.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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