Last updated: 25 March 2020 15:00
Following the latest Government advice on 23 March requiring churches to close both for private worship and public services, Elim Church buildings are now closed for public worship and all gatherings or meetings, including private prayer, until further notice.
Individuals are encouraged to follow the guidance issued by the Government and NHS. Where possible, please stay at home, continue to pray, share love, generosity and safely care for the vulnerable in your community.
We are aware this is a very difficult time, with significant and ongoing change that will prompt further questions. Some of these are answered below with additional information for Elim leaders available on ElimNET at elim.org.uk/coronavirusFAQ
Guidance for churches
The following details are regularly reviewed and updated, so please do keep checking back.
All Elim Church services and gatherings are suspended until further notice in line with Government guidelines on staying at home and away from others.
The live streaming of services is permitted and is already proving to be a vital part of our ongoing worship and witness.
Under current guidelines, we recommend that this should be done with the minimum people for maximum safety.
Wherever possible this should be done from home, with live streaming operated by the person presenting or a member of their household. External personnel should not move between households to facilitate this.
If the service is recorded in the church building, no more than 5 people can be in the building. They must observe strict social distancing and hygiene practices. Anyone who falls into the government requirements to isolate at home for any period of time should not be in attendance.
We would stress that even though these numbers are currently permitted for production purposes, this is likely to be even more restricted in the near future.
Please follow the full live streaming guidance available on ElimNET
Sadly, weddings, baptism and dedications should be postponed in line with the clear advice from the government.
Funerals are subject to the same restrictions on public gatherings. Therefore, under the current restrictions only graveside or crematorium funerals can be arranged.
Local restrictions are likely to be in place so we encourage ministers to consult with the local funeral services and crematorium as appropriate.
Only immediate family members can attend as allowed by the crematorium. A distance of 2 metres is to be maintained between every household group, as per Public Health England guidelines.
We encourage ministers where possible to consider discussing with the family the possibility of a memorial service to be conducted for their loved one at a later time, though this is obviously something to be handled with discretion and sensitivity.
Further advice on funerals can be found on ElimNET
As the coronavirus pandemic unfolds in the UK, the main priority is ensuring the safety of everyone who comes to a food bank – whether it’s someone needing help, someone volunteering their time, or someone making a donation.
The situation is changing quickly, and national organisations such as Trussell Trust are in daily contact with the food banks in their network about their local situation. They are centrally issuing updated guidance every day in a special daily bulletin, so please ensure you follow their national guidance.
Further details are available at trusselltrust.org/coronavirus-food-banks
Due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, CAP have made the difficult decision to temporarily stop all face-to-face Debt Help visits, community groups and events.
Further details are available at capuk.org/coronavirus
As no meetings of more than two people should take place in any of Elim’s buildings, all bookings to other groups should be cancelled with immediate effect.
All schools and nurseries should now only be open to the children of key workers. Further details: Guidance about maintaining educational provision for schools, childcare providers, colleges and local authorities in England.
Further advice can be found on gov.uk
UK Government: Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do
NHS information: coronavirus (COVID-19)
Elim leaders resources
ElimNET provides additional information for Elim leaders at elim.org.uk/coronavirusFAQ
We are aware this is a very difficult time and will prompt further questions. We are working to produce some FAQs, along with adding new guidance on this page. This will take time, so please be patient and check back to this page for more details. Also we will share updates through our social media accounts, so follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.