Coronavirus Pandemic Update – 20th March 2020
The Salvation Army
United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland
Thank you for all your hard work in these past few days. It has been an extremely challenging week for everyone but it has been wonderful to see people across The Salvation Army pulling together. The Territorial Commander, Commissioner Anthony Cotterill, has recorded a video message. Watch it here: https://vimeo.com/398985342/9f24e1fef0
At the end of this momentous week, we have a clearer picture of the way forward:
1. We’re here for a while: The Coronavirus Pandemic is not going away soon. The general advice is that we should prepare for at least 12 weeks of ‘social distancing’. So, we all have to get used to a ‘new normal’.
2. We need to follow the advice: The Salvation Army will continue to follow the advice of the health authorities and we strongly encourage everyone to do so. We must all follow the social distancing guidelines. This is not easy as so much of Salvation Army work relies on meeting people. Therefore, we need to find new ways to achieve our mission. We must not be reckless but neither should we be unduly fearful.
3. We have a plan: The Salvation Army has a large and diverse presence across the United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland. Combatting the Coronavirus and its effects on our communities will require a flexible, local response. Therefore, every corps, centre, unit and headquarters has the responsibility to develop a plan that achieves the mission according to their circumstances. As the plans are implemented, lessons will be learnt and plans can be adjusted. We need to work in partnership so sharing our plans with others is essential.
4. We need to be flexible: We are all learning new ways to work. If possible, people should work at home. However, not everyone can do this. The Salvation Army is home for many vulnerable people so we cannot simply close our doors. We must follow the advice of the public health experts while finding ways to make sure people are not abandoned at this time. This will require lots of flexibility by all of us. Some of us can be redeployed into teams who need support. A process is being developed and will be communicated as soon as possible.
5. Prayer works: Each day at 12 noon everyone is encouraged to pause for a few minutes. Even if you are not religious, in these stressful days it is good to pause for a few minutes. Looking after our health is as important as our concern for the wellbeing of others. Use #HandsTogether Please particularly pray for people who cannot work from home and are finding the work more stressful and challenging than normal. We will want to support our colleagues at this time.
1. Key Workers: The UK government definition of ‘key worker’ includes all Salvation Army officers and many employees and some volunteers. A letter confirming key worker status will be issued by The Salvation Army. Children of key workers can still go to school and the letter may be needed for other purposes in the future. If you think you are a key worker please discuss this with your supervisor/manager.
2. Food Banks: The shortage of food in the shops is placing great strain on food banks. The Salvation Army is in discussions with government, charities and businesses to find solutions to the shortages. We expect demand for food banks to increase in the weeks ahead and are planning to make an appeal to the general public for donations. For more information on managing food banks visit: https://ourhub.salvationarmy.org.uk/coronavirus/Documents/Coronavirus_Managers_of_Food_banks.pdf
3. Cancellations and Postponements: With regret, the follow events have been impacted by the Coronavirus.
Event Date Decision
Easter Music Course 13 to 17 April 2020 Cancelled
Sports Learning Community
Weekend 17 to 20 April 2020 Postpone to a later date
Musical Theatre in a Day 2 May 2020 Postpone to a later date
Pioneer Gathering 4 to 7 May 2020 Cancelled
NCD 12 Conference 15 to 17 May 2020 Postpone to a later date
Pre-Symphony Sounds 29 May 2020 Cancelled
(Foyer Concerts & Evening Concert 30 May 2020 Cancelled
MACA Leaders' Councils 31 May 2020 Cancelled
Early Years and
Financial Inclusion Best Practice 18 to 19 June 2020 Postpone to a later date
Women and God 19 to 21 June 2020 Cancelled
Sport & Christianity Gathering 20 to 21 June 2020 Cancelled
4. WORSHIP RESOURCES: The Older People's Ministries ‘Silver Lining’ team are sharing additional messages and support for our older people in our communities on their public Facebook page 'Older People's Ministries UKI (LINK) under the 'Silver Lining' initiative. Every day at 9am one of the OPM Regional Mission Specialists will post a Daily Devotional message. On Monday and Friday mornings, the team will also share a briefing with information such as updates to Government advice for older people. Please encourage older people in your communities to like the page on Facebook and check there regular for updates (LINK). Further resources will be shared in the coming weeks
We are grateful for people sharing how they are facilitating worship/prayer. This includes from the list below and we hope they will be a blessing to you. If your corps are providing resources that can be shared wider please do so. More information about additional worship resources and channels will follow next week.
Cambridge Citadel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDBJ02KIkrUdJXzn67ER0lQ
Basingstoke Corps https://www.christianworldmedia.com/livesite/BasingstokeSalvationArmy
Ellesmere Port https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSz-cuLqZ_ysotBB7prWoOQ
Regent Hall Corps https://www.youtube.com/c/regenthall
Major Andrew Stone, the editor of War Cry will lead a Salvation Army meeting at 11am on Fortress Radio available on any computer, tablet or smartphone at www.FortressRadio.online
For children, KA! JAM, is an online Bible study series run by the Kids Alive! team. This is a great activity for our children to participate in while they're home. For more information see any issue of Kids Alive! or email the editor, Justin.Reeves@salvationarmy.org.uk
There will not be a Daily Update over the weekend. An eagle-eyed reader noted that we had not mentioned ‘CARE’ in yesterday’s update. Apologies. We must not forget to care for each other at this time. We all need to make some time in the next few days to recharge the batteries.
Secretary for Communications