North Wiltshire Methodist Circuit

We are a discipleship movement shaped for mission

Coronavirus Advice

ADVICE FOR CHURCHES FROM THE CIRCUIT pdf to download

ADVICE FROM WILTSHIRE COUNCIL  

ADVICE ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH WELL BEING

Official guidance

Update 16th July

We wanted to inform you that there is new guidance and a new format on the Coronavirus Guidance for Property page.  The Guide for Other Building Users is now available.  This guidance has been produced to provide a generic framework for the reopening of church buildings for community activities.  Other new guidance includes:  Guide for Pastoral VisitsGuide for Children's Worship and an update to the Guide for Holy Communion.  
New Format
As we respond to the frequent changes in government policies and guidance for easing lockdown restrictions, we have altered the structure of the guidance for managing trustees.  The aim is that the information will be more accessible and that updates will be clearly visible on the different aspects of re-opening, maintaining and using a church property.


Update 1 July

Updated guidance for re-opening churches in England including advice on baptisms, weddings and funerals is now available on the Coronavirus Guidance for Property page.

Update 26 June

The Government announced that Places of Worship can open from 4th July with certain restrictions.  The Opening of Churches for Worship in England guidance from the Methodist Church is now available on the Coronavirus Guidance for Property page.


Update 23 June

The Government has today announced that places of worship may re-open from July 4 2020 for services. Our Property Team is working on what Managing Trustees will need to consider in order to re-open buildings and we will update our website as soon as is practicably possible.

We will also be releasing a special service to celebrate a return to public worship.

In the meantime you can see the updates on what steps Managing Trustees will need to take when considering whether to open church buildings here

Property guidance relating to Covid-19 including a Re-Opening a Building Checklist and a Covid-19 Risk Assessment. Both of these can be started now and will need to be followed in the event of any changes.

Safeguarding considerations during the pandemic can be viewed here

We are conscious that those churches in jurisdictions outside England have to abide by different regulations.

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See FAQs for the full list of guidance

The Methodist Church has announced the closure of all its church buildings for the foreseeable future. The only exception will be for churches that are offering essential social outreach such as foodbanks, soup kitchens and night shelters, but these must be carried out closely within Government guidelines. We would encourage people to use our online resources at home which include downloadable services and links to online worship services.

If you are running a foodbank or soup kitchen we would urge you to seek advice on how and whether to continue operating as safely as possible from central bodies such as the Trussell Trust or IFAN.  

If you’re running a night shelter there is advice available here and here.

In terms of Church business, all meetings including church councils and circuit meetings should be cancelled. Districts chairs will be in touch about Synods. The next meeting of the Methodist Council has been suspended and work is in hand to make sure that essential business is carried out. We will be issuing further advice on this.

Other community activities

The Trussel Trust has also issued guidance on how churches can support volunteer supported charities.

The Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) have produced a simple guide on how you can  support foodbanks during the coronavirus pandemic.

Other community events like lunch clubs, after school clubs, playgroups and fellowship groups should be suspended.

Pastoral concerns

Churches must only consider carrying out pastoral ‘visits’ by phone.  Remember that many people are anxious and a reassuring phone call and an offer to pray might be very much appreciated.

If you’re a minister, consider what your plan might be if someone in your congregation is diagnosed with the virus.