Corona Virus Pandemic and St Luke’s (last updated 24th March 2020)
Those of you who are connected to our Facebook page, as well as those watching the news, will have already heard the news that the Church of England has suspended public worship for the foreseeable future due to Coronavirus.
Firstly, I would like to assure you of our support in the coming weeks and months. Being part of the community in Downham is of paramount importance to us.
All our activities are shutting down at this point including Front Room, Busy Bees, and Sunday services. I realise this is a disappointment to us all but necessary for the foreseeable future to protect those who are vulnerable at this time and to ease pressure on the NHS.
This isn’t a defeat or admission of surrender or a sign of lack of faith – God calls us to be wise and to take practical precautions and actions to protect ourselves and others. The Bible is full of examples of this – for example the rules around quarantine and care in Leviticus; Paul’s advice to Timothy to take medicine; or James’ call to meet people’s needs as well as praying for them, to name just a few.
Over this next season we will be working to ensure that our community is still working together as we socialise from a distance (in most cases, via the internet) to ensure that people’s health and wellbeing is cared for. If there are those who are isolated or in need, please make contact and we will do whatever we are able to help people or get access to services that other people provide.
To stay in contact with the church and to keep building up our faith and community please do one or all of the following:
- If you use WhatsApp please text me on 07774516204 so I can add you to the St Luke’s group
- If you use Facebook, please follow St Luke’s Downham (@stlukes70) for regular updates
- There will also be regular updates on this website
- If you can’t do any of the above or if you would like to talk or pray or request support, please contact Rev. Nick – 07774516204 or email@example.com
Following the latest guidance we have to announce that all church buildings in the Diocese of Southwark are now closed.
We continue to provide services, Bible study and faith resources online via our Facebook, website and the WhatsApp group.
We will also continue to provide the following support to those who request it:
- Telephone support to those who are isolated
- Food (ready meals and tins) to those with a shortage
- Health advice and support through the Parish Nurse
If you would like to request any of these means of support, please call or text 07774516204
Resources to Help Your Faith:
There are quite a few excellent resources to help you continue to grow your faith, worship, study the Bible, and pray over this period and I commend the following to you – alongside the videos and such that I will post on our groups.
Can I commend to you the following resources:
- An Ordinary Office is a brilliant resource designed to provide prayers throughout the day and night for those unable to get to church: anordinaryoffice.org.uk
- The Church of England Digital Resources page: churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-churches
Please do pray for us all as we will continue to pray for you. And as always, we encourage you to look after each other and care for those around you.
Grace and Peace
Reverend Nick Walsh, Vicar
The District Church Council (DCC) of St Luke’s Downham recognises the need to safeguard the children, young people and adults in our care and guard against the possibility of any form of abuse of children, young people and adults by persons who may be acting in the name of our parish. We take our responsibilities to safeguard everyone who attends our church very seriously and have therefore paid due regard to safeguarding policy and procedure. We therefore resolve that we will comply with the duty under section 5 of the Safeguarding and Clergy Discipline Measure 2016 (duty to have due regard to House of Bishops’ guidance on safeguarding children and vulnerable adults).
If you have any safeguarding concerns please speak to Rev. Nick Walsh on 07774516204, one of the Church Wardens or our safeguarding officer – Lucie Walsh on 07817478110 / firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively please contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser on 020 7939 9423 (office hours), 07982 279713 (out of hours).
If you have immediate concerns about the safety of someone, please contact the police and your local authority Children or Adults Services.