Diocese of Guilford Virus Update

March 21st, 2020 by admin-su


  1. The Government has issued guidance on who is classified as a Key Worker, religious organisations are listed under this but further clarification is needed. As a minimum we believe that incumbents, curates and associates on the front line ministering in a parish are key workers. More work is underway to establish what other roles could reasonably be included as this situation evolves.
  2. We are in touch with colleagues from the funeral industry, both to protect our own clergy and ministers and to attempt to enable a consistent approach to funerals. We can report that the crematoria in the diocese are attempting to do all they can to protect their own staff and ours and work together on a consistent approach. It seems as if the majority are currently limiting attendance at funerals to ‘nearest and dearest’ which they interpret as very closest relatives (parents, children, siblings). Guildford Crematorium has removed chairs from its (brand new) chapel and placed them 2m apart. They believe that other crematoria are following suit. This is simply to inform you that you can expect a safe working practice in our crematoria and that they are currently implementing similar guidelines to the Church of England. Changes are happening in the funeral industry daily and they will update us accordingly. 
  3. It is becoming clear that the wide-reaching and rapid changes we are going through are outside the experience of the majority of people in our churches, communities and nation.  This change is affecting life and activity in many areas, and that includes finance.  In this regard, similar concerns have been expressed to us by a number of parishes, and we know that this is also on the minds of the national church leadership currently, as it is on ours.  At this stage we are seeking clarification along with other dioceses on what might be provided centrally, not least in terms of handling cash pressures, alongside commencing financial modelling for the DBF for a range of scenarios. As soon as we have further information on this, we will convey this to our parishes. We want to work together (PCC, DBF & National Church Institutions) to support everyone in our communities during this crisis. The priority for our parishes is therefore to ensure that ministry and mission continues and to encourage members to continue giving as normal, as far as that is possible. In the meantime, along with many other aspects of how we as church respond to these circumstances, this is an area that is included in our prayers.