Corona Virus.

We are now co-ordinating offers of help with Rob Bird, County Councillor for our local community. If you are able to volunteer, he stated that all volunteers need to register on this link.

Stuart Baker will be raising this on his Radio Maidstone afternoon show between 13:00 and 16:00. You can listen online at or via the Tunein app - just look for Maidstone Radio.

For more information go to the Canterbury Diocese Coronavirus webpages

These are the guidelines we must all now follow:

1.Our church buildings are closed for public worship and for private prayer

2.Emergency baptisms can take place in hospital or at home, though subject to strict hygienic precautions and physical distancing as far as possible

3.There can be no weddings in church buildings until further notice

4.Funerals can only happen at the Crematorium or at the graveside. Only immediatefamily members can attend (if the crematorium allows) – that is, spouse or partner, parents and children, keeping their distance in the prescribed way

5.Live streaming of services is more important than ever and is still permissible from homes. We encourage us all to consider how we can be as creative as possible with streaming services and other resources. There are many, many fantastic examples of churches and clergy using technology to reach and engage communities.

6.Foodbanks should continue where possible under strict guidelines and may have to move to be delivery points not places where people gather. If you can, do consider making a financial contribution to your nearest foodbank.

It is imperative that for the health of the nation and in order for the NHS to manage over the coming months, the Church of England strictly observes the new guidelines on staying at home and only making journeys that are absolutely necessary.

Our church buildings must now be closed not only for public worship, but for private prayer as well and this includes the priest or lay person offering prayer in church on their own.

We must take a lead in showing our communities how we must behave in order to slow down the spread of the Coronavirus.

We must also do all that we can to provide resources and support for those who are isolated, fearful and vulnerable. But we have to do this from our homes.

A number of national online resources including weekly streamed services and daily audio, as well as additional worship provision on the BBC are there to help us, and more are on their way.

It is also imperative that as the Church of Jesus Christ, called to offer hope and light in the darkness of this world’s ills,we maintain a praying presence for our community, though from today onwards this must happen from our hearts and from our homes.

Our Church buildings are closed but the Church must continue to support and encourage our communities making use of telephones and other forms of technology to keep in touch with people and ensure pastoral care is maintained, and as shepherds of Christ’s flock we are committed to making this happen.

Copyright James lakeland