A useful list of addresses and other contact details in the Borders during the Pandemic is attached here as of 20 May 2020
This lockdown period is especially hard for people with depression. Whatever you're going through, remember you can call the Samaritans free any time on 0330 094 5717
Advice during the Corona Virus Pandemic
The Scottish Episcopal Church today issued updated guidance from the College of Bishops on access to church and cathedral buildings during the coronavirus pandemic. The College of Bishops has taken the ‘difficult and painful’ decision that our churches and cathedrals should now be closed to the public at all times, as the threat of the virus grows. The guidelines have also been published online on the Scottish Episcopal Church website at: https://www.scotland.anglican.org/church-buildings-closed-to-public-until-further-notice/
This Sunday, 22nd March will be the first time in over 700 years that there have been no gatherings for Church services in Britain. Its quite momentous. The last time this happened was around the time Duns Castle was founded! On Sundays at 10.45 am, Chris presiding at a ZOOM-based service for all three Berwickshire Group (BECG) congregations.
Instructions about how to access these meetings and learn about Zoom go to Service & Worship/
People are asked to light a candle in their window at 7 pm on Sundays “as a visible symbol of the light of life, Jesus Christ”.
Earlier advice is available here.
As a result, all three church buildings in the BECG group are currently closed but will open again as soon as is safe to do so. BUT its commuity is still flourishing on the web, via our Facebook page, via ZOOM virtual meetings and within the community.
Corona Virus Advice
18 March 2020 Advice
The Safeguarding Considerations are attached to this email in a PDF file, and are also available on the ‘Coronavirus guidelines’ page of the Scottish Episcopal Church website at https://www.scotland.anglican.org/coronavirus-updates/coronavirus-safeguarding-considerations-issued-by-the-provincial-safeguarding-officers-at-the-general-synod-office/
It is accepted that the new guidelines will not address every existing concern and situation, and some matters will need to be considered on a case-by-case basis. For any such queries, please contact Donald Urquhart, Provincial Safeguarding Officer, on or 07702 793553 or at email@example.com
We would like to remind members that, while we encourage volunteering to help those in need during the coronavirus crisis, congregations do not need to feel they have to organise their own activities or start up new initiatives. Existing charitable organisations are currently looking for volunteers to assist with matters such as food banks etc. It is possible that some churches can best assist locally by their members becoming involved in the activities of other organisations such as, for instance, the Trussell Trust, who have asked for support at food banks.
Please check the SEC website for further updates on coronavirus guidelines, which will also be highlighted on social media. Any urgent updates will also be communicated to you directly by e-mail.
IMPORTANT Coronavirus (COVID-19) Cessession of church services and meetings. Guidance update from College of Bishops dated 17 March 2020 please click here for a PDF version and click the following link for Today’s new guidelines:
1. Advice issued last night by the Scottish Government is to the effect that church services should cease. Consequently, the Bishops ask that all gatherings for worship, including small gatherings such as house groups, should be discontinued until further notice.
2. Church buildings can be kept open as a place for people to come and pray. However, if a church is open for private prayer, notices should be clearly displayed asking that visitors wash their hands on entering to the church.
3. The province is working on plans to make worship available online. The bishops encourage participation in the broader Eucharistic life of the church in this way and emphasise the such online involvement is a form of participation in the Eucharistic community, even though participants cannot physically partake of the bread or wine.
4. Clergy and lay leaders must feel free to self-isolate themselves when that is appropriate either to safeguard their own health or the health of others
The College of Bishops continues to follow closely the developing situation in relation to coronavirus. The rapidly changing picture brings about changes on an almost daily basis. The College continues to hold in its prayers the clergy and laity of the Scottish Episcopal Church and the people of Scotland and the United Kingdom as a whole. At this time, the College offers further guidance as follows. It should also be emphasised that in a rapidly changing situation, the guidance that follows must be regarded as subject to any public health guidance or direction, which must take precedence.
The Most Rev Mark Strange, Primus
Additional comments for CCD:
1. Chris and Vestry are planning to work up some on-line addresses, music etc. to be available via Facebook and our website. More about this later.
2. In addition, if you hear of anyone who is ill or has self-isolated, please contact any Vestry member or Chris so they can provide support.
3. We need to think of ways to help our community: whether it is ringing those who are staying at home, anyone ‘at risk’, the ‘over-70s’, those needing food and medicines delivered or just needing a cheerful email. Any ideas please to any member of Vestry, to Jean and to Chris.
The latest government information is to be found on https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Please remember. Stay at home for 7 days if you have either:
a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
a new, continuous cough – this means you've started coughing repeatedly
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home. Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you're staying at home.
I am sure you are all aware that we must take every precaution to protect each other and the community.
For further information about keeping safe and health from the Diocese of Edinburgh click this link