Efforts to fight the results of Covid-19 are rising
A son's online request for prayer when his father, a priest, was critically ill at a ward in Covid-19 has been viewed more than 10,000 times.
The Easter message from Tom Holmes about his father, the pastor Peter Holmes, the 27-year-old vicar of St. Peter in Norbiton in south London, was picked up by the national press. Less than two weeks later, on April 25, Mr. Holmes (News, May 1) died. An appeal in his memory for church restoration work, from which he was due to retire later this year, reached the goal of £ 5,000 within hours.
In his message, Tom Holmes recalled how his father would normally have run the Easter service and then invited the family to a roast and egg hunt in the garden. “This year he is on a ventilator in the intensive care unit. Our family is physically separate; NHS workers across the country are committed to fighting the virus.
"If you believe that God is listening to our prayer or if you don't, do what you can and pray. Pray for the lonely, pray for those who have lost loved ones, pray for those who have difficulty have to make ends meet, pray for the resilience of the NHS staff and pray for us – my father and family. ”
Then he quoted Romans 5: “We also boast of our sufferings because we know that suffering creates persistence; Perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us because God's love was poured out. "
After Mr. Holmes 'death, a close family friend, Pastor Robert Stanier, Vicar of Surbiton, and the Dean of Kingston, whose dean's office included Norbiton, urged people to fulfill Mr. Holmes' vision for his church and complete its restoration . The next day, over 150 people pledged £ 6,000. "He has done a remarkable job, especially when working with the homeless," said Stanier.
In Liverpool, All Saints & # 39 ;, Kensington, mourns Covid-19 for its 68-year-old parish leader Bob Corrin. He was a school attendant and governor, Sunday school teacher and boy. Brigadier captain. His offer to pray for others is still on the church's bulletin board.
All Saints Vicar Rev. Michael Coates said: “He was such a gracious, gentle man. . . Someone I called a friend and he was a friend to many in this community. It's a loss I'm trying to fight. During this trip, it is important that we associate this with individuals, as Bob's story will be reflected across the country, where people from Covid-19 are being viciously pulled out of their communities and by families that are devastated be missed. "
A survivor of the Covid-19 returned home on Thursday last week after 34 days in the hospital. Clare Trueman, whose son Charlie, 13, is a choir singer at Wakefield Cathedral, spent 26 days in intensive care. Six of these days she was in a coma and had to undergo a tracheotomy.
Charlie and his father Brian tracked their progress on Facebook daily and gathered support around the world, including a connection to Charlie's hero, singer and presenter Aled Jones.
Clare Trueman said; "He is a big Aled Jones fan. So I know that it helped him a lot. It is overwhelming to hear about the love and support that my family has received during my time in the hospital Time really helped. "
Daniel SmithThanks to the support of the Chichester Festival Theater, Chichester Cathedral went blue for the first time last Thursday. The Dean, dear Stephen Waine, watches
A website launched by a priest to help people connect with the Christian faith and find hope during the pandemic has received over 16,000 unique page views from nearly 6,000 visitors in just two weeks. The assistant curator for Winklebury and Worting in Basingstoke, Rev. Tim Dennis, recruited clergymen and lay people from different church backgrounds to write for the website lookforhope.org.
"The website has thoughtful blogs and videos that offer hope and wisdom to those who find it difficult this time," he said. "I was amazed at the response. It shows that people are desperately looking for a message of hope that is relevant to the struggles they are going through."
In a similar move, World Vision and Alpha International charities launched the Church Leaders Café on Zoom to talk about their experience of the crisis, provide support, and suggest resilience strategies for their churches.
Mark Sheard, CEO of World Vision in the UK, said: “Church leaders are usually the point of contact for the community in times of crisis. Most would have received no training on how to lead through a pandemic like Covid-19. It is therefore extremely valuable to have the opportunity to share experiences, listen and learn from each other. "
The British Quakers have urged the Prime Minister to ensure that no one has enough income to live on during the pandemic. In an open letter, they support the New Economics Foundation's proposal for a temporary minimum income guarantee that would be unconditional and not tested for need at the access point.
The Quaker Witness and Worship Department in the UK, Oliver Robertson, said: “The state must use its resources to ensure that everyone's basic needs are met, especially in times of crisis. The money that the government pledged during the pandemic shows that this is possible. That is why we have to stand up for the people who are still falling through the gaps in the safety net. "
Ecclesiastical Insurance has joined more than 250 companies worldwide to sign the Covid-19 Business Pledge. The promise, made by former cabinet minister Justine Greening and entrepreneur David Harrison, obliges companies to fight the corona virus in three areas: for their employees, their customers, and their communities. It targets the problems that arise during recovery, as well as the immediate challenges of the virus.
Ecclesiastical CEO Mark Hews said: “As a company committed to providing all available profits to charity, we wholeheartedly support the goals of the C-19 Business Pledge Initiative to get the business world right to do this challenging time. It is important that we support our customers, communities and employees so that we can do this together. "
The Bishop of St. Albans, Dr. Alan Smith has called for gift aid reforms to reduce coronavirus exposure to charities. During an online Lords debate last Thursday, he asked whether the Treasury Department would "consider a simple mechanism based on increasing the amount of gift aid that charities can reclaim. . . It is an excellent form of game finance and relatively easy to manage. "
He also provisionally supported proposals for more shopping hours on Sunday to boost the economy and give key workers more time to shop. He told The Sunday Telegraph, "We all need to think of innovative and flexible ways to protect our local economy." However, he warned that any proposal must provide safeguards for workers, including an opt-out for those who do wish a rest day on Sundays.
Micah Liverpool, the charity for social justice at Liverpool Cathedral, has reported a 40 percent increase in demand in its food banks since the ban. The managing director, Paul O & # 39; Brien, said: "We are now realizing that there are people who have been self-employed and who have lost their jobs, who have claimed universal loans, but have to wait five weeks for their benefits. ”
The west end of St. Albans Cathedral was also illuminated and the bells were rung on Thursday evening
The Salvation Army has asked the government to replace the advance loans for universal loans with grants. Mission Secretary, Lt. Col. Drew McCombe said, "These loans are offered to people who need to fill the gap while waiting for their first payment, but the loans force them directly into debt. Given that so many people may never have received benefits before claiming universal credit and starving, we are again asking the government to fix it. "
The Archbishop of Canterbury supported an online blessing in songs by people from more than 65 churches of different denominations. On Facebook, he wrote: "We are separated in a way that we have never experienced before, but the unity that we find in Christ brings us together in an extraordinary way." The "UK Blessing" was viewed almost 800,000 times in the first 24 hours.
A ringtone that, like others, currently has no access to a tower for ringing, has found an alternative: Adrian Whatmore, a former NHS employee, uses a ringing simulator program on his laptop and an amplifier to send out the sound of bells his garden in Pitminster, Somerset, every Thursday evening during the weekly clap for NHS and other key workers.
He said, "While it will never replace the camaraderie and practice that church proper ringing offers, I will use the simulator to practice my ringing when I meet up with my colleagues and friends at Taunton's office again can the Bath & Wells Association of Change Ringers. "
Ripon Cathedral has launched the “Wing and a Prayer” project with the Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) to increase funds for front workers. Donors can request online that a prayer be printed on an angel made of paper as part of an art installation in the nave. YAA fundraiser director Helen Callear said: "With events and fundraisers canceled, the YAA needs all the support we can get to keep our helicopters airborne and save lives across the region. "
The 55,000 members of the mother's union in the UK and Ireland manufacture thousands of key health care items, including scrubs, hearing protection, exfoliating bags, masks and mask bands.
MU Vice President of the Diocese of York, Hilary Castle, said: “Because we use crafts in many of our community projects throughout the year, most of our members have sewing machines and equipment. Where materials are available, they are ordered and delivered, and donations come from the community. We currently have fewer pillow cases and sheets in our members' homes. "
Members in Dorset and Wiltshire also procured prison inmate sewing machines to make scrubs. and in South Wales, members have knitted woolen hearts for coronavirus stations. Llandaff Diocesan President Sue Rivers said: “Hospital personnel are trying to alleviate the pain of separation. Matching pairs of knitted hearts are given to the patient and family so that people can feel more connected to their relatives. Knowing that your relative has just the right heart in the last hours of his life is incredibly special and helps people to process their grief. "
In Exeter Cathedral, volunteers who normally work on robes and knees peel for the NHS. Sally Hulin of the Company of Tapisers said: “It was really nice to get such an enthusiastic response from other artisans who are all ready to intervene and help meet these urgent needs. Our biggest fight is to get suitable fabrics. We are now requesting materials from Bradford. "
Comment: Facebook is increasing the numbers, says priest
On Easter Day last year, our St. Mary & # 39; s Church in Nantwich held six services with a total of 577 participants Easter Day This year there are four Online services had a combined "reach" of over 6000. Have we discovered the secret of "numerical growth" that the Church of England has been looking for in recent years?
We used Facebook Live, which you can use to immerse yourself in the data. The most popular was the service at 6 a.m., at which the Easter candle was lit and reached 3,500 people. Only 43 watched live, but this is comparable to 39 last year.
The tour started after the event, and for this service this might have something to do with the original attraction of a bonfire and the morning choir. It also helped that the rectory was next to the church; For many of our services it is therefore possible to have the beautiful octagonal tower in the background and the bells that mark the beginning of the service. We still need that Building.
Reach is a measure of the number of people who watched the video, and it's flattering. But we're brought to the floor by the average viewing time: for services that took about 25 minutes, the average viewing time was one minute.
When people lose interest in what is displayed on a screen, they change the content, while we do not measure how long people are in a service. Nevertheless, it is clear that many of the 6000 people who put their heads in for a quick look at the church door are equivalent.
If we allow more people to do this, it will be worthwhile to continue streaming some services live when we're back in church. This would also benefit people who do not make it to the church. And imagine the audience figures at Christmas when our church visit is almost four times as high as at Easter.
In addition to the services, the chapel of worship and the choir produce videos that usually reach a thousand or more people each. The songs were available online anyway, but what draws viewers to our musicians and services is the connection to local and familiar people and places.
The church is a body and longs for physical presence. This loss is measured by another statistical comparison: Easter communicants, 383 in 2019; Zero in 2020.
The Reverend Dr. Mark Hart is Rector of St. Mary's, Nantwich, in the Chester Diocese.