Bromley Corps Update 17 March 2020
Friends, please see below today’s update from our Territorial Headquarters.
It is therefore with deep regret that we are cancelling all of the weekly activities as well as Sunday meetings.
However, from tomorrow we would like to keep The Light café open but only to serve teas/coffees to people who are well enough but just need to chat or pray with someone. We also see it as being something of a community ‘hub’ where people can come in who need help or where we meet with other agencies to plan our responses together. We would keep to the normal café opening times.
As far as our spiritual life and fellowship is concerned we will try to find new ways of keeping in touch throughout the week.
At this time we remember that we are not alone, we are in God’s hands and we have each other. Please pray and act creatively for ‘others’ in these trying days. Thank you all once again in anticipation of your co-operation and service at this time.
God bless you,
The Salvation Army
United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland
Coronavirus Pandemic Update
17 March 2020
The senior leaders of the territory met a number of times in the past 24 hours to respond to the rapidly changing advice from governments responding to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The leaders confirm the five priorities announced last week for everyone linked to The Salvation Army in the territory:
1. PRAY: Everyone is called to pray every day at noon for all the people around the world impacted by the Coronavirus. Please also pray for leaders across the world who are making very complex decisions. May God give us all wisdom and courage.
2. LISTEN: The Salvation Army will follow and promote government public health advice and directives and adapt as the advice changes. Divisions, corps and centres should take their lead from their relevant authorities.
3. CLEAN: The best defence against Coronavirus is good personal hygiene. Please ensure you follow advice on hand washing and all advice from the public health experts in your country.
4. CARE: The advice on caring for people with or at risk of becoming infected with the virus has changed in recent days. As a result, and with deep regret, public meetings must stop with immediate effect. This includes Sunday worship, music group rehearsals, courses, performances and clubs. However, residential facilities such as Lifehouses, Night Shelters, Safe Houses, Older People’s Services and the William Booth College will remain open with specific guidance provided by the managers of these services.
The government advice is that everyone should try ‘to follow these measures as much as is pragmatic’. Therefore, discretion can be used in discussion with the respective divisional leader or manager. For example, a funeral could be held with the number of people attending restricted to family and close friends who avoid crowded spaces.
5. ACT: Every part of The Salvation Army needs to fully mobilise for the fight against the Coronavirus so, together, we find ways of reducing the impact of this virus on society. In some instances this will require the cancellation of activities. However, we are not an Army in retreat! This pandemic also creates multiple opportunities to explore creative ways to fulfil our God given mission at this critical time. For example, corps halls could be set up as prayer and worship spaces (similar to a 24/7 prayer room) where healthy individuals can maintain social distance and find a safe place for worship and reflection.
· The UK Government has asked The Salvation Army and other community and religious groups to work together and keep as many programmes operating as possible in accordance with government health advice. Online worship, work meetings and pastoral conversations are encouraged. Links to online worship will be shared in Daily Updates each week.
· All members, volunteers and employees are encouraged to work together to reimagine the corps programme in light of the new government advice.
Thank you for your prayers and support at this bewildering time. Be assure the territorial leaders are praying for you and are deeply grateful for you commitment in these challenging days.
Secretary for Communications