Advice to churches about coronavirus

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resized image Promo 2Get the latest advice, updates and resources on the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic from the United Reformed Church.

Visit our Coronavirus resources page on the URC online store for a range of practical resources including signs, banners, badges and floor tape to remind people to stay apart and to wash their hands, or download free church resources from our website

Latest updates

Weekly prayers from the United Reformed Church to help bring you comfort and spiritual support during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Please use these devotions in your private prayers, prayer groups or sermons. 

The Revd Steve Faber, Moderator of the United Reformed Church’s West Midlands Synod, who has been leading on the church’s advice during the pandemic, says there are no surprises, and offers the edited highlights.

As the Governments in England, Scotland and Wales move towards reducing or ending Coronavirus restrictions on Places of Worship, the Synod Moderators offer the following guidance to congregations of the United Reformed Church.

Advice and guidance

Here's the latest government advice for churches and places of worship. 

For more information visit the GOV.UK, scotgov.uk or GOV.Wales websites.

In 2020, members of the URC’s Church-Related Community Work, Church and Society, Children’s and Youth Work and Walking the Way teams, along with Church Action on Poverty, started a conversation called 'New Reality, Same Mission' about helping congregations think about mission and community engagement in these challenging times.

As a follow-up to that conversation, we've updated this information with new ideas, resources and questions for you and your local church to consider today. 

Visit the updated New Reality, Same Mission 

All churches should generate and display an official NHS Test & Protect QR code poster. Currently, the governments in England and Wales are strongly encouraging places of worship amongst others to display the QR code poster, rather than requiring them to use it. The United Reformed Church strongly encourages churches in England and Wales that are open for any purpose to comply with this.

In Scotland, the Protect Scotland contact tracing app is part of the NHS Scotland Test & Protect system.

Updated advice on safeguarding during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Read the latest advice from the United Reformed Church, Emerging into the New Normal (PDF). This resource provides the basis for further local discussion and some clear church policy. Download the new Personal Risk Assessment (PDF) mentioned in the document. Download an example of the Personal Risk Assessment (PDF).

Resources for churches and individuals

The URC has produced a range of practical resources for churches and individuals to use during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

  • The URC Book Shop has signs, banners, badges and floor tape you can buy to remind people to keep to social distance rules and to watch their hands

  • You can also download free resources including posters, badges and stay safe seat cards from our Coronavirus resources page 

The URC has produced a series of free guides with advice for churches and church organisations to help them stay in contact with and support their local community during and after lockdown. From a guide to Zoom etiquette to information about online and contactless giving  - there are more than 20 resources available for you to read or download.

These free resources will help you get your church online and stay in contact with your congregation and the local community using social media.The guides cover a wealth of topics - from livestreaming church services to using social media to connect with people and much more. 

  • Digital church -  from advice on using Zoom, WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook to a guide to livestreaming your church service, the URC has published numerous free resources to help your church on its digital journey

  • Download a hints and tips infographic from Matt Collins (JPEG) about how to get the best results when filming sermons. There is also a new illustrated hints and tips guide about using Zoom for meetings (JPEG) from Naomi RW. 

If you're using Zoom for church purposes, and would like others to stop looking at the walls behind your head, why not use these backgrounds instead? Optimised for Zoom, there is a plain background with a URC logo, or a background with multiple URC logos, in either JPG or PNG formats:

A range of risk assessments and risk assessment advice for you and your church. 

Visit Together Apart - a digital hub for rural churches created by the the Arthur Rank Centre. Supporting rural Christians and churches during the pandemic, it has a range of resources including farming and agriculture support, practical resources, guidance and advice, resources for children and families, and weekly reflections.

Even though lockdown has eased, many people and families have found themselves with a lot of free time on their hands. Here are some Bible verses for you to download, share, print off and colour in: 

Worship, prayers, hymns and reflections

Free resources from the United Reformed Church to help you and your church explore Black Lives Matter and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic with a focus on the unequal effect it has had in BAME communities.

 

A regularly updated list of churches offering live streamed services, sermons as podcasts, recorded services on YouTube, Facebook and Zoom, audio files of services, sermons and other worship and Bible study resources. 

You can also find out how you can add your church activities to the list.

Families on Faith Adventures at Home is a free resource to help families worship and pray together and develop their faith during lockdown and beyond.

There are plenty of resources on the internet to support faith at home, but we wanted to provide something specifically URC in nature. These resources draw on the materials from Pilots and Friends on Faith Adventures as a starting point and are a 'pick and mix' selection of activities, prayers and challenges based around a different Bible reading each week.

  • A prayer for uncertain times – in March 2020, the then Moderators of the General Assembly offered this prayer as the UK and the rest of the world began dealing with the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Here are a selection of reflections to help you through the pandemic. 

Weekly prayers from the United Reformed Church to help bring you comfort and spiritual support during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Please use these devotions in your private prayers, prayer groups or sermons. 

Helping the community

The Coronavirus pandemic has been a difficult time for many of us but some positive and heartening stories have emerged from it too.

 

Give thanks for our vaccines by donating to the URC's fudraising campaign with Christian Aid and help vulnerable communities around the world who don't access to the healthcare they need to protect themselves from the COV-19 virus. 

 

The Joint Public Issues Team has produced a list of the different ways you can help support your local community during the Coronavirus crisis. 

The YourNeighbour.org website aims to support the work that churches are doing to be good neighbours in communities across the UK during the coronavirus crisis. It aims to offer support via a coordinated national response. 

Church Action on Poverty has launched a campaign calling for a fresh start for families in Britain swept into debt by Covid-19

The new Moderators of General Assembly, Claire Downing and Peter Pay, have joined 75 other faith leaders to call for a ‘debt jubilee’ for the 77 poorest nations as they deal with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Updated: 06 October 2021
Photo: Noah/Unsplash

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