The Church of God of Prophecy UK is committed to doing all that it can to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus, (COVID-19).
In light of global precautions and to ensure we are adhering to the direction given by the UK Government and Chief Medical Officer, our church Board is monitoring the prevailing situation around this virus and meeting regularly to review how we can reduce risks and provide our membership population with practical precautions to prevent the spread of infection.
Public and Private Worship/ Services
It is with regret that we have decided to suspend public and private worship services in the Church of God of Prophecy UK for the time being, in line with government guidance. As a leadership team we are looking at alternative ways to continue providing worship services and pastoral care.
The use of church buildings for social action projects bring with it increased risks and therefore a risk-based approach must be taken and in collaboration with guidance from the local authorities prior to any project continuing. Due consideration must be given to wearing protective equipment. Where there are exceptions – it should only be for parcelling and drop off.
Keeping you Informed
There will be a robust communication plan to ensure that our church networks are appropriately kept informed. As the advice from our government changes, then these guidelines will be updated, but we recommend that members take responsibility to regularly visit our church website and communications on the NHS website (https://111.NHS.uk).
There are general principles you can follow to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
Good hand hygiene is always vital in reducing the spread of this virus. Wash hands more frequently, for at least 20 seconds, in running water, with soap, and use hand sanitising gel. Only single-use hand towels should be used in your toilet facilities.
Also avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands and cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin and wash your hands.
Click here to download the NHS Hand Hygiene Poster to publish in your toilet facilities at your local church.
We have released guidance to our local churches on how our sanctuaries are cleaned (deep cleaning and routine cleaning). Extra attention will be given to high traffic areas especially metal surfaces like door handles, facia plates, microphones, and seats.
Click here to read cleaning advice from the government.
Stay at home
You must stay at home apart from essential travel or you could be fined
- Only go outside for food, health reasons exercise or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
- Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
- Wash your hands as soon as you get home
Further information can be found https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Protecting our Vulnerable Members
Government Guidance is under constant review and so Government guidance must be followed. Current guidance includes:
- Avoid non-essential travel and social gathering
- Those with existing medical conditions and 70 years old and above must self-isolate for 12 weeks
- Pregnant and vulnerable adults to take additional precaution of social measures/distancing
The church will be taking a proactive approach to ensuring supportive and protective contingency measures are in place for all members, the elderly and vulnerable and all those who may need to be in isolation.
Social distancing measures are steps that the government has asked that we take to reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible.
- Work from home, where possible.
- Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.
- UK Gov Guidance on Social Distancing
- According to NHS, if you have a NEW persistent cough or a high temperature you Must stay at home for 7 days
- If you live with other people , they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms
- If you live with someone who is 70 or over , has a long term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system please see https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
- If symptoms worsen or persist you may need additional help and may need more intensive intervention and services
If a member develops symptoms or is diagnosed with the virus
- Please refer them to appropriate NHS advice. (https://111.NHS.uk) and has above
- Please let your senior Pastor know so we can put the appropriate pastoral support in place
Supporting our Members
- The Pastoral team will continue to be on hand to support our members. Pastoral visits will be selective and by prior arrangement taking into account advice provided by the government.
- Funerals will only take place in line with government guidance at the cemetery /crematorium with very limited numbers/immediate family (in conjunction with funeral directors) and following social distancing guidance .
Ministry and wellbeing of the elderly or those staying at home
- The church will be taking a cell group and social action approach in partnership with existing community groups to ensure practical support is in place for all those who are vulnerable at this time.
Prayer for families and communities
- We will be continuing prayers and prayer points for all families affected and further information will be shared of how you can engage with this programme.
Church of God of Prophecy is an international church family, operating at Local National, and International levels. As we find ourselves in this most difficult situation, we are concerned about our church family and people everywhere who have been adversely impacted. We are gathering information and learning from our church families around the world, who are currently facing severe difficulties and uncertainties around this situation. We do ask that we hold everyone up in prayers, particularly in those countries where the rate of infection of this virus is greatly advanced.
Hebrews 13:5 “Jesus said I will never leave you nor for sake you that you may be boldly say, the Lord is my helper.”
‘Father in your name, we call on you today in the promise of your word. We pray for those who are at this time struggling with the fears and concerns around this virus. Father we act in belief and confidence in your promises, knowing that you have not given us the spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind. We therefore embrace the promise of your word, even in the midst of this time of uncertainty. We are still persuaded that your precious blood heals and makes whole. We pray for our church family: we pray for those in our communities who maybe feeling insecure and isolated. We pray for our decision-makers, medical experts, leaders national and international. Father we rest our cares in your hands, in the name of Jesus. Amen’
Issued by COGOP UK National Presiding Bishop and Board of Trustees 17th March 2020
References /Useful links
- Full guidance how to wash your hands https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/best-way-to-wash-your-hands/
- Government website ukhttps://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public
- Government travel advice ukhttps://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
- Those with a high risk NHS website https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
- Corona virus NHS 111 https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19
- Stay at home guidance https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-people-with-confirmed-or-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection#self-isolation
- More information: self-isolating https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/
- Travel advice in line with FCO https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus