Updated: Tuesday 12th May 2020

Latest information on the NCTM response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The situation is changing rapidly on a day to day basis and we have many outlets for information, therefore please refer to this page in the first instance for the latest information. You can view our latest news sheet online and also sign up to our mailing list.

Our services and events

The North Cheltenham Team Ministry is following current Church of England advice which can be found by clicking here.

The House of Bishops agreed last week that diocesan bishops can now issue guidance on the gradual easing of restrictions on our activities whilst our church buildings need to remain closed. Following on from this and the Prime Minister’s announcement on Sunday 10th May Bishop Rachel, Bishop of Gloucester issued the following on Monday 11th May:

“From today Incumbents, or Area Deans where there is no incumbent, can appoint one member of clergy or a lay leader in their parish/benefice to enter the church building. The appointed person should be a clergy person licensed to the benefice, or a licensed Reader or a lay leader with an official role in the worshipping community.

The appointed person can enter the church building for either or both of the following:

1. Private prayer on behalf of the worshipping community

2. Live stream or pre-record worship

If you are streaming worship and the appointed person has other people in their household, one member of that household can assist. The allowances do not extend to bell ringers, musicians, community volunteers etc.

The church building should be near to where the appointed person lives and the door should be locked whilst they are in the building”.

For Bishop Rachel’s full statement, please click here.

Also released yesterday (Monday 11th May) is this statement from the Church of England: (see above for the link to the Church of England website)

The Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, said: “We note from the Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Strategy that churches could be open from July as part of the conditional and phased plan to begin lifting the lockdown. We look forward to the time when we are able to gather again in our church buildings.

"We are examining what steps we will need to take to do so safely and are actively planning ahead in preparation. We strongly support the Government’s approach of continuing to suppress the transmission of the virus and accordingly, we recognise that at this time public worship cannot return in the interests of public health and safety.

Please be aware that at the current time all our church buildings sadly remain closed to anyone other than our clergy. While the clergy can enter the churches as above, each one of them may still decide to offer online services from their homes rather than from inside our churches.

We are endeavouring to keep in contact with you all through various platforms and by offering online services and prayers.

All our services have now moved to online and you can view these be visiting our streaming page, YouTube channel or Facebook page.

Keeping in touch

We now have the ability to send out messages via WhatsApp - Please add "01242 244 373" to your phone book. Send a WhatsApp message giving your full name NOTE this only currently works for WhatsApp - not text messages and don't forget to join our email mailing list.

Information regarding funerals:

Due to the current guidelines from the Church of England regarding funerals, and also the guidelines of the Crematorium, we ask that you all remain at home as per the Government guidelines and light a candle at the time of the funeral as listed on the News sheet and say a prayer (see below). We are offering all families who have lost loved ones at this time a memorial service in the future if they so wish. Please also remember at this difficult time for many the families and friends who are mourning loved ones, as well as the Funeral Directors who are dealing with arranging funerals under difficult circumstances and the clergy who are supporting those in mourning.

Dear God,

Thank you for (name), for all that they meant to me and to others.

I so wanted to say goodbye, to be alongside my friends and family.

Help me to know you are there,

Holding all my hopes,

Holding all those I Love, especially (name),

And holding me this day.

Be close with your peace and hope.

Amen.

Loving God,

Life is so strange just now – I don’t know what to do.

Comfort me with your presence,

Be with all who grieve

And give us strength and courage to face this and all the days ahead.

Amen.

God of love,

Surround all those I love,

Especially those I can no longer meet.

Be light in my darkness,

Be hope in my fear,

Be love in every moment,

And give me grace to face each day ahead.

Amen.

Helping to support the community

John Payne and Prestbury Parish Council are coordinating local volunteers in one place to help the housebound and anyone in Prestbury who might need help with prescriptions delivery, shopping help, or any other support. It will be great if Church Members can volunteer too.

Please use the contact details below to add your name to the Volunteer rota. Thank you.

Parish Clerk: 01242 575129

Parish Council email: [email protected]

Parish website: prestbury-pc.gov.uk