Eastern Baptist Association Quarterly Bulletin April 2020
Welcome to this quarterly round-up of news from around the Eastern region.
Recent Inductions and Ordinations
Danni Worley – Centenary Baptist Church, March Abi Grylls – Youth Worker, Gamlingay Baptist Church Jo Hellenbrand – Eastwood Baptist Church, Essex Melanie Pike – Eastwood Baptist Church, Essex Neil Kinghorn – Oxlow Lane Baptist Church, Dagenham Kate Gaze – Hardwick Evangelical Church, Cambs Seven Pancaldi-Loxley – Earls Colne Baptist Church, Essex
Home Mission Appeal 2019:
Thanks for increased giving Thank you to everyone for your generous support. Giving from EBA Churches to the Home Mission Appeal in 2019 was £413,351 which was a 4.3% increase over the previous year. Nationally HM giving was below the target set. The Eastern Baptist Association was the second highest giver of the thirteen regional Associations.
Response to Covid-19
The lockdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on all our churches who are no longer able to gather together or use their premises. There is an emergency package of financial assistance in the form of grants and loans available from Baptists Together to help churches where there is an immediate financial impact. There are full details on the Baptists Together website at www.baptist.org.uk/Groups/338915/Coronavirus_financial_support.aspx There has been huge amounts of creativity by our churches online as we become virtual fellowships and prepare Sunday services and resource material in new formats. There are great examples of services broadcast on You Tube, virtual gatherings on Zoom, Facebook pages, videos and all kinds of platforms used for us to remain as a community of God’s people. There are details of many of the activities and resources produced by EBA churches on our website at www.easternbaptist.org.uk/news/online-sunday-morning-service-links We are encouraging churches to share their news on the EBA Facebook group and there is an increasing amount of sharing. The link is https://www.facebook.com/groups/410179719443903/
The EBA weekly prayer focus is a great way to learn how churches are coping and adapting to Covid-19 and praying for themThe details are all available on the EBA website and recent churches featured are Dereham, Becontree Avenue and Bar Hill.
What’s life like for a Hospital Chaplain at the moment
Today is Monday 6th April 2020 and my name is Lee Gilbert one of the hospital chaplains at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kings Lynn. As I explain to a lot of people, I work for the NHS and provide pastoral and spiritual care for patients, relatives and staff in this hospital. I also happen to be a Baptist Minister and I worship at Cornerstone: Kings Lynn Baptist Church, where Kev Crane is the minister. And like for much of us in society in general things, my work and people’s attitudes in general are changing and have changed. As of Friday we had 40 patients who have tested positive for Covid-19, nine of whom are on the Intensive Care Unit and 31 patients on the wards. Praise God the hospital has treated 15 patients who have subsequently been discharged back to their homes. Sadly due to the nature of the disease some patients have died. This week in all of these categories, we are expecting the numbers to rise and each day within the hospital, wards are changing, patients are constantly being moved around and staff are having to get used to huge changes very rapidly. Underlying all of that there are huge concerns about workload and ultimately whether a member of staff will get Coronavirus themselves or pass it on to a loved one at home. We are providing staff a support line for pastoral care and our ‘sacred space’ so our worship area is a place where many members of staff come at the end or beginning of a shift to think and to pray and to gather themselves before they go home or go onto the ward. Apart from the critical care ward, for the wards where there are Covid-19 patients we can visit so long as we have been requested. We have to be careful and we need to get changed into scrubs and wear the full PPE that is available for all staff. So mask, gown and gloves that are disposed of as soon as we have seen the patient. We are however aware that some patients may not receive the spiritual care they need, especially as they are dying and so we have issued the relevant wards appropriate prayers for dying and deceased patients. However I would also say a couple of things. Firstly the non-covid patients and staff also need spiritual and pastoral care. Much of our normal work of seeing patients and staff continues. However, the hospital in many respects is quieter than normal, as there are no visitors allowed (apart from exceptional circumstances i.e. birthing partner or end of life care or dementia care) and there are very few clinics. The other patients are therefore feeling isolated themselves and are grateful for anyone to talk with. Also staff are more willing to talk with us as chaplains and everyone is much more willing to talk to us about what is important to them.
Please therefore pray for the following:
• The staff in the hospitals in your area – for strength and courage
• The ethical teams as they make difficult decisions about scarce resources and who to treat
• For the non-covid-19 patients who are equally as worried • For the loved ones of those who have died and those who they cannot see in hospital
COVID-19 and your Baptist Church Insurance policy
In light of uncertainty caused by COVID-19, there will inevitably be questions over your church insurance. See below the cover that applies to your church insurance policy, which we trust will provide peace of mind.
Employees (including clergy, church officials, members and authorised volunteers) working from home: Your church policy includes as standard, cover for contents whilst away from the premises and/or specifically at the homes of employees. Liability – health and safety: Resources for employers are signposted by the Health and Safety Executive on their latest information and advice page. As organisations look to different working models for continuity, they also have useful guidance on homeworking and working alone. Subject to the terms and conditions of the policy, both Employers’ and Public Liability policies provide an indemnity to the policyholder if they are held legally liable for accidental bodily injury or illness arising in connection with their business. Churches that engage in emergency community support programmes or similar that help supply food and provisions to those affected by the movement restrictions: We would consider this work to be part of the usual activities of the church. However, we would expect the individual churches to follow Public Health England (or equivalent body)/Government guidance at all times and observe any precautions stipulated by those bodies. There would be no additional premium in respect of these activities. Church premises that are temporarily closed solely due to the COVID-19 outbreak: Church buildings that are temporarily closed are exposed to different and usually greater risk than buildings that are open for regular use. It is a condition of your policy that you advise us when the use of a building ceases on a temporary or permanent basis and we would then may apply
restrictions in cover and conditions precedent to cover that need to be complied with. Normally we would also charge an additional premium. However, we can confirm that temporary closure of your church buildings due to the COVID-19 outbreak would not result in us applying restrictions in your cover or charging any additional premium. We do however expect that you manage the risks associated with a closed building and we have therefore developed a guide to help you do this. Please click here to access our guide Outstanding Risk Improvements, periodic conditions & maintenance conditions: Any policy term that requires regular maintenance, inspection or where we have specified completion of a risk improvement by a specified deadline that cannot be fully complied with or fully completed solely due to the COVID19 outbreak, causing travel restrictions or the lack of availability of contractors or materials will be suspended until Government restrictions on public movements have been lifted, or the availability of contractors, whichever is the sooner. Where possible please attempt to comply with the policy terms or complete risk improvements in part or in whole given the circumstances at the time. Please document the steps you have taken with regard to compliance for your records. All other policy terms, conditions and exception are unchanged.
We hope that this provides the reassurance you need in these unprecedented times. If you are unsure about any of the guidance or have any other questions relating to your church insurance please contact us on 0345 070 2223