Updates & Briefings

Each week, we are sending out a briefing with updates, stories and useful information for church leaders and admin teams across the BCP area. Click on the links below to catch up on any you might have missed…

Friday 24th July - Summer Holiday Club resources ready... Tel friendship groups start 1st Aug... Funding opportunity

Hello everyone,

A busy time for churches… so we wanted to bring you up to speed with some resources that will help you in your local mission over the coming weeks. Be inspired…

1. Summer holiday club resources

Several local churches have expressed an interest in running an on-line holiday club with local young people in their communities. So a coalition of churches from across denominations and geographies have asked Andy Saunders from Lighthouse ministries (and previously Scripture Union) to prepare some resources that can be used across one week or one day per week across the summer.

Just click on www.churchbcp.org.uk/response/summer-holiday-club-resources/… and there is a small group who are sharing how it's going, so if you have any questions, send over an email and we’ll link you in…

2. Telephone friendship groups

1st August sees the launch of an exciting new initiative across the BCP conurbation, designed to connect those who have been isolated by COVID 19. These Telephone Friendship Groups have been developed out of a desire to support people who may be feeling lonely and isolated, and to engender peer support within communities. And you don’t need internet access to take part.

Groups of up to six people will be brought together in the hour long calls for chats of a general nature, perhaps replacing the face to face groups and clubs that existed before Covid-19. The project will also engage with folk who don’t normally attend groups, but would prefer telephone contact. They can refer themselves, or be referred by an organisation that supports them. The calls will be free to the participants (assuming there are no special conditions from their own telephone service provider). Of course, donations to help continue the project are always welcomed.

The project will be led by PramaLife staff and any group or organisation can get involved and run Friendship Groups. PramaLife will provide all training to volunteers and will manage all administration and evaluation. As the project grows, we are offering an opportunity for new volunteers to host these calls and are particularly keen to engage people with special interests.

For further information contact:

Sue Warr - sue.warr@pramacare.co.uk / 07867 354588

Keith Gubbins - keith.gubbins@pramalife.org / 07752 597334

3. New funding: Allchurches Trust – Hope Beyond

Churches, cathedrals and Christian denominational bodies, and Christian charities in the UK and the Republic of Ireland can now apply for funding to meet changing needs within their communities as the longer-term impact of the coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis becomes clearer.

Grants of up to £50,000 are available, however, organisations cannot apply for a specific grant amount and instead are asked to provide information on the project and a budget. Successful applicants will then receive a grant covering between 10% and 80% of the costs, depending on the overall cost of the project and the level of need in their community.

Projects in the following three areas will receive funding:

  • Projects responding to the issues of loneliness and isolation exacerbated by the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic where new and/or enhanced support is being proposed. This could include enabling improved accessibility to buildings/activities and measures to ensure buildings are coronavirus/COVID-19 safe.
  • Projects focused on growing community resilience and promoting mental and emotional health and wellbeing, including the provision of mental health and wellbeing support groups and 1:1 counselling for people of all ages (including clergy).
  • Projects focused on growing technological capability and resilience, particularly increasing digital capacity and provision, and supporting those without online access to get online through training and support.

The grants can cover capital costs, such as adaptation of buildings and the purchase of equipment, as well as project-related salaries and some other revenue costs (to the end of 2021), such as training of staff and/or volunteers, hire of buildings and/or equipment, and promotion and marketing of new activities.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.


PS: don't forget the freephone BCP prayerline is still open: 08081 963686. I've called it a few times and always have great support from the wonderful volunteers.

Many thanks for all you are doing to bring God's hope to our communities.


Monday 13th July - Summer Hope session tomorrow, simultaneous Memorial Services this Autumn?

Hello friends,

We know that many of you will be working on plans to run Church both in person and on-line, so our prayers go with you for wisdom and energy.

We wanted to update you on a few Covid-related mission activities:

1. Summer Holiday Hope

Summer will be challenging for many families this year. So, churches from across BCP have been working together with Andy Saunders (previously of Scripture Union) to create some excellent resources that churches could use to run a summer holiday club that is both on-line and “in person”. On Tuesday 14 July at 7pm there is a Zoom session to hear more about what’s been created and how to roll it out – if you would like to join in with this, then do drop into the session (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83101709348?pwd=T05KdXRjN3poYUs0UytDQkkwVHM2QT09). There is a real need for holiday Hope this year – so if this helps you do something locally, please join in!

2. “As One” initiative – simultaneous outdoor Memorial Services?

How about this as an idea from elsewhere in the UK?

When gatherings are safe and welcome, other towns/cities are equipping 30 churches to put on simultaneous outdoor Memorial Services for their local community, using a high-profile, shared brand (“As One”), coming alongside those who mourn and helping bring peace to the shared experiences of grief, anxiety, trauma and loss. Subsequently, and probably next year, the same churches are looking at putting on a “Back Together Celebration” in the form of a tea party in their local community.

Lots of details in the attachment – would you like to be part of this initiative here?

3. Reminder of other mission activities

Thank you for all your encouragements over these past months in seeing how God’s people have responded to the crisis. Of course, it is not over, and this will be a challenging Autumn for many who need to hear of God’s hope. So, as a reminder, here are some of the mission actions in place and on their way:

- The BCP Prayerline (08081 963686) continues to be ready for any who need to pray with someone

- PramaLife are continuing to work with care homes and churches to see how the latter can serve the former!

- Churches are still providing food to those in Temporary Accommodation (and to many other families facing challenges) … and each day, there is one group ensuring Rough Sleepers have access to food in each town

- we continue to prepare for the joint Recovery Course that starts in September (in potentially at least 12 churches!)

- and the foodbanks are getting ready to provide top up food support to families during the summer holidays… especially those who are facing redundancy possibly for the first time

Lots more on www.churchbcp.org.uk/recovery - we’ll start moving that website into a new realm sharing all that churches are doing from the Autumn… look out for more info soon.

Many thanks


As One Initiative Summary Jul 20

Wednesday 24th June - National Prayer Breakfast next Tuesday on-line

Hello friends,

Thank you to all who want to know more about those creative ideas being put together for Christian summer activities for churches to use with their family contacts this summer… still time to register interest in knowing more!

National Prayer Breakfast – Tues 8.30am

You may have seen that this year’s National Prayer Breakfast is on-line and all are welcome.  We have written to our local MP’s to let them know and to see if they want to meet with local church leaders – we shared with them this little diagram to show some of the activities that Local Church have been doing during the last 3 months

Update on Homelessness

Those brought inside into temporary accommodation for Covid (over 300!) are still in hotels/B&Bs (indeed 40+ of them have already moved on); only one hotel is needed back and all there will be found another place. BCP Council is one of 10-12 local authorities that are working with central govt to come up with a plan for what’s needed to make move on a reality for as many as possible (some good news today here). But there are still some out on the streets (24 at a Street count earlier in June).

Routes to Roots, Faithworks, BH1 and lots of church groups are working together to find ways in which we can play our part in supporting all of these individuals – community meals, “Community & Friendship teams”, Sleepsafe this winter(?): please get in touch if you want to link in with all this.

And as town centres open up, look out for lots of publicity (see attached) about a way of giving to all this work called Change for Good as an alternative to giving cash to those who may start begging – there’ll even be Contactless giving points within a few weeks to make it really easy.

Telephone befriending groups

Our friends at PramaLife are in the final stages of testing the telephony systems for running telephone befriending groups – “go live” is in just a few weeks, so please get in touch with Keith at keith.gubbins@pramalife.org if this would help you get people together who used to meet at lunch clubs or other local activities.

Keith would also love to hear from any more churches who are supporting a local care home.

Thank you for your inspiring Perseverance and Hope!



Wednesday 17th June: Summer Holiday Hope: anything planned? BCP-wide Recovery Course coming soon

Hello friends

Thank you again for all the encouragements that we see of how churches are continuing to be "salt and light" in BCP-land!

"Summer Holiday Hope"

The announcement yesterday that school vouchers will continue over the summer is a real answer to prayer for many families. But families will continue to face significant challenges both with finances and with relationships. "Holiday hunger" plans (or better "Summer Holiday Hope" plans) are developing across statutory and voluntary sectors - it would be great to share what the Church is up to: so 3 quick questions?

  • Did you as a church run a holiday activity last year?
  • Are you planning anything this year (on-line or with small groups)?
  • A group of church leaders from across BCP are working with an expert previously at Scripture Union to put together some holiday activities/resources that would work this year; would you like to be part of this?

If you want to know more about the whole BCP wide approach, then come along to the Zoom call today at 11am (https://zoom.us/j/611158122?pwd=Qm5nL0xIWXFhM2dVaDV5TitEY1g2UT09)

BCP-wide Recovery course this Autumn

For the first time, a cross-conurbation online Recovery Course will take place starting this September. We would love to see as many churches as possible involved. So, Faithworks are hosting a zoom meeting to explain more at 2pm on 2 July (https://zoom.us/j/93115466504?pwd=Y2ZkOUFud1FEM0hBNTJpT0l1ZUxNdz09); here is a link to a Youtube video that explains it further: https://youtu.be/t4KO8lkTJak. Be great to see you!

Prayerline - pack of business cards to give out?

Have you called the free Prayerline yet (08081 963686)? We now have 32 volunteers from 18 different churches - a brilliant symbol of God's people working together! We are just ordering lots of business cards advertising the prayerline: if you want some, plus some Try Praying booklets, please email me. The number of calls is going up, but we believe that there are many more people who need this help.

NB: Please keep praying for church leaders across our area as they consider how to open up churches safely and for God's glory.


Don't forget you can find more useful resources including a range of new prayer points about reopening churches at www.churchBCP.org.uk/resources. We have added in this new EAUK report about how the church has responded during Covid: 59% of the UK churches surveyed are reporting a marked increase in people interested in finding out more about the Christian faith (https://www.eauk.org/resources/what-we-offer/reports/changing-church)

Many thanks again - stay strong in Him


Saturday 6th June: Operation Holiday Hope!

Hello everyone,

Hope your Pentecost celebrations went well - thank you for your continued witness and prayer to our towns.

As we continue to work together as churches and Christian organisations, there are three specific requests this week:

1. Holiday hunger. This summer will be a tough one for families, as school vouchers will probably not be available during the summer holidays for families who normally get free school meals. As God's people, how can we show them they are not forgotten? The foodbanks will be issuing special holiday vouchers, but is there anything else that we could do as the Church to reach out to families in our local areas? Here are some ideas...

  • One church is running "Munch" - packed lunches for local families to collect...
  • Some churches are considering batch cooking for lone parent families...
  • One church/foodbank is adding activity books into the food parcels....

Please let us know at hello@faithworkswessex.org.uk if you are planning something or would like to be part of "Operation Holiday Hope"

2. Meanwhile, please keep telling friends and family about the Prayer Line (08081 963686) – it’s not being over-used yet!! Wouldn’t it be great if it was as well known as the Council help-line! And please let us know if you have found a really great place to advertise it!! (flyers and business cards coming soon)

3. And don’t forget that Prama are now seeking your input to creating a new Christian Care Network to support every care home in the conurbation through their local churches. We know of at least 18 churches supporting over 40 care homes – but we suspect there are more!! Get in touch if you have a local update...

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love..." (1 Cor 16)

Many thanks for all you do



Prayer Line A4 Poster

Friday 22nd May: Prayer-line, CAP job club and UK prayer together this Sunday

Hello friends,

It continues to be exciting to hear of churches across the conurbation being salt and light in the community – for example, Christians in Hamworthy/Turlin Moor are starting a pop-up community food store at St Gabriel’s church as a practical response to the needs in their area – please pray for them as they open on 1st June!

Other churches are talking about suggesting that their young people write to those in local care homes asking if they can become pen-pals – anyone else interested in that idea?

BCP Prayer-line: 08081 963686

The prayer line has now been up and running for nearly a week. And we have just trained another group of volunteers (anyone else interested?). Hopefully, there will be an article in the Echo this week. But we would love to have more people calling up, so that we can invite God into their situations and give them a chance to TryPraying for themselves!

So, please get the word out – attached is a poster to send out to those in your church, plus a little “thumbnail” that you could use on social media posts.

CAP Job-club

The Christians Against Poverty Bournemouth Job Club will be going online at the beginning of July. This FREE offer includes the Steps to Employment course, one-on-one coaching and ongoing membership of the CAP Bournemouth Job Club online community. The eight-course sessions will be delivered over four weeks on Mondays and Thursdays, starting at 11.00. The first course begins on 6th July, the second on 10th August. For more information and an application form, please email dickdendle@capjobclubs.org

Money advice

And don’t forget, there are 2 Christian responses for money advice locally - Community Money Advice (“CMA”: based at Faithworks) on 01202 429037, and CAP (based at Poole Christian Fellowship) on 0800 328 0006.

Our shared website (www.churchBCP.org.uk/response) has a whole raft of info about on-line services, what churches are doing together practically in the conurbation and all the previous weekly briefings: have a look at latest about these:

  • List of all the On-line Alpha courses
  • info and resources about the "Thy Kingdom Come" initiative to pray up to Pentecost Sunday (31 May)
  • a new report from the Wheaton institute on “Reopening the Church”
  • Bringing hope into Care homes: a summary of initial ideas for supporting your local care home ahead of a cross-conurbation initiative from Steve at Prama and Gemma at Truth be Told

UK prayer together

Here’s a reminder about a UK prayer event this Sunday from the leaders at Movement Day:

“It’s been wonderful to see so many city-wide prayer events at this time and soon Movement Day UK is bringing towns and cities together for a huge prayer event covering the UK! It is time for our cities to stand together, in unity, and ask God to move across our nation.

Sunday 24 May: 8.00pm – 9.30pm: Live broadcast

Christians from all traditions will be joining us from their homes across the UK to seek a move of God for the transformation of our towns and cities. We will also be joined by some special guests who will be leading us in prayer. Join us live on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/movementdayuk/; YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZy2R9x1R9E1HKrjpO93Ylg. Please share the invitation far and wide, across all your friends and networks so as many people as possible can join the event and be part of something truly special.”

Many thanks again for all you are doing - pray on!



Prayer-line Poster A4

Friday 15th May: Prayer-line launches on Mon 18th (08081 963686)!

Hello friends

We are really pleased to announce that the BCP prayer-line will go live on Monday May 18th. The number to pass on is 08081 963686. Ryan Anscombe from the YMCA is working with 20 trained volunteers from a variety of churches across BCP to answer calls from 7am to 10pm each day. And where appropriate, callers will be encouraged to continue to pray themselves by going to the Try Praying app or website.

We would love it if you could…

  • pass on the message to those in your communities – either by putting up the poster attached here, or by putting something out on Facebook from Monday
  • see if there are any other “pray-ers” in your congregation who would like to join the team (just fill in the form attached) as we are still a little light on evenings and weekends
  • pray for the team, that God will protect them from abusive calls, and use them to bring Hope to those who want prayer.

Thank you!

A few other updates:

“There must be a way for churches to help Care homes…”

Thank you to those of you who have told us about how your church is/has been supporting local care homes. We have a vision of all 156 care homes in BCP, having that similar support. So to help, Gemma Gillard from Truth be Told (and Gateway church, Poole) has put together a simple summary (click here) of practical ideas that your church might want to take on from her experience of working in care homes – if you have any other ideas to add in, then she would love to hear from you: click on the comments section of her recent blog post (here)

Growing spaces

The Access to Food partnership across BCP are looking for groups that are either growing food locally, or would like to use their green space to do so (possibly as part of building up those who are lonely or finding life hard) – and so we were thinking of whether some churches might be doing this or thinking of doing it? If this is of interest, please email daisy.carr@bcpcouncil.gov.uk or join the Food Forum call on Wed 20th at 11am (https://zoom.us/j/611158122?pwd=Qm5nL0xIWXFhM2dVaDV5TitEY1g2UT09 ; Meeting ID: 611 158 122; Password: 407976)

Lots more information including an updated briefing on ideas for running funerals and a list of on-line Alpha courses at https://churchbcp.org.uk/response/

Many thanks



Prayer Line A4 poster - final

Saturday 9th May: funding opportunity, on-line alpha courses list

Hello everyone,

Hope you have seen “the UK Blessing” video (link here) that has had such an impact this week – so good to see God’s people from many geographies and many different churches praying “The Lord make his face shine upon you…” (from Numbers 6) over the nation.

Here a few more updates that might be helpful to you and your congregations this week.

Funding opportunity for churches – deadline 14 May

"Samaritan’s Purse is looking to partner with churches/projects in reaching their communities during the current pandemic (click here for more details). Along with our response activities overseas, the situation in the UK has prompted us to respond locally. We are therefore inviting you to consider whether either or both of the following will be helpful for your church/organisation in supporting your coronavirus-related outreach activities:

  • Community Care Grant: a one-off cash grant of up to £5,000
  • Community Care Kit: a one-off grant of personal protective equipment (PPE) containing face masks, gloves, and hand sanitiser"


The BCP prayer-line is almost ready to go – we have the number, we have 20 trained volunteers, and our friends at the YMCA are just getting the publicity finished; so, as this is an initiative of all the churches in the conurbation, we will be sending out a special briefing to ask you very soon to publicise this through any social media and other methods that you have. Still some slots on the rota, so it would be great to get more volunteers!

Did you see this article about how people are turning to prayer? So it was very encouraging to talk about the prayer-line with a Council officer this week – they said “that will be so helpful what with people having loved ones in ITU etc”!

Alpha and other courses to find out more about Christianity?

With this growing interest in God, we would love to be able to get a full list of all the on-line courses that are running (or going to run) locally where people can find out more about Christianity to put on www.churchbcp.org.uk/response. Please email hello@faithworkswessex.org.uk if your church is running such a course.

Care homes – any more links?

Thank you to those of you who let us know about how their church is linking up with a local care home. As they are so much on the front-line, please pray for them, but also do let us know on hello@faithworkswessex.org.uk if you have links and stories of what has really helped so that we can pass this on to others. At such a time as this, it would be wonderful to have Christians praying for those working and living in every one of the 159 local care homes.

Lots more information and previous briefings at https://churchbcp.org.uk/response/

Many thanks for all you are doing to bring Hope


Friday 1st May: ministry with care homes & older folk w/o internet

Hello friends,

Thank you for all the different ways in which you are bringing God’s Life and Hope to our towns. And a personal thank you for the way in which you are especially supporting the local foodbanks – please keep donating via the supermarkets (and especially tinned meat!!!)

Churches supporting care homes

We had a chat with a local care home chaplain today – as news grows of the harrowing challenges that care and nursing homes are facing, church leaders are starting to look at additional ways that Christians can support the teams and residents in the 159 local homes. A “how can churches help” guide is being produced. But can you help us understand which churches are actively supporting which care/nursing homes. Please email me at hello@faithworkswessex.org.uk and we’ll start building up the map. Also use that email, if you want to reach out to your local home.

Telephone coffee mornings

Many churches are doing a wonderful job at keeping in contact with older folk who used to come to groups and lunches at the church. Now there is a plan to create telephone coffee mornings where up to 5 people can be linked together by phone so that they still feel part of a group. Could be a huge opportunity to bring God’s hope to so many in your community, while we are still under lockdown. John Ainsworth is ready to put you in touch with the team behind this idea; email him at churchestogetherinpoole@gmail.com

Prayer-line update:

We have over 20 volunteers now for the BCP-wide prayer-line; training will start next week, so there’s still time to volunteer for this unique ministry (see attached) – and we have copies of "Try Praying" ready to give away to any who call…

Daily Hope

For any of your congregation who don’t have internet access but want to share in worship, did you see there was a new “worship line” with daily hymns and prayers – 0800 804 8044

National “For such a time as this” shared ideas

Church leaders and members are doing some amazing things across the UK at the moment. Last week, over 500 people joined live calls led by the Movement Day team; over the 5 days, they discussed food distribution and debt; engaging with civic authorities; prayer; mental health and bereavement and hope and faith. Watch the videos at http://www.gather.global/

Lots more information and previous briefings at https://churchbcp.org.uk/response/

Many thanks



PL Volunteer Registration Sheet - April20

Friday 24th April: prayer hotline volunteering; pray for police; more bereavement updates

Hello friends,

Welcome to another of our weekly briefings to keep the Church in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole up to date with what is going on to respond to the Covid crisis.


Very pleased to say that in conjunction with the YMCA chaplain, Ryan Anscombe, we are working towards having a BCP-wide “prayer-line” within the next couple of weeks - we are now looking for volunteers to help staff it: if you are interested in helping, please see the application form attached. We will be linking it to trypraying.co.uk resources...

And we'll let you know when we're ready to "Go Live"!

Supporting ex-rough sleepers

The Homelessness Reduction Board have put out a new briefing (attached) that covers all aspects of support for those facing homelessness. Some of those brought in a few weeks ago have now been able to move on to their own more secure place which is good news. Churches right across the area are now helping with collecting and bringing food to Faithworks' central Storehouse at St Johns on Surrey Road; and up to 50 packs per week are going out to those who are in temporary accommodation. THANK YOU!

Bereavement update

We had news this week that a temporary morgue has been opened in Poole Port to serve BCP and the surrounding area. It is there as a precautionary measure. Any comments or questions can be emailed to Jonathan at jpmclmartin@gmail.com.

Central Government released some updated information including plans to ensure bereaved families can attend funerals during pandemic (click here), statutory guidance for local authorities on death management which may be useful for ministers (click here), and updated guidance to support the safe management of funerals (click here) – go to www.churchbcp.org.uk/response/bereavement for more updates

Please pray for the Police

Our local neighbourhood police teams are working so hard at the moment - one local neighbourhood inspector shared this week that they are really worried that the shortage of supply is bringing "dirty" drugs on to the streets which is obviously very dangerous.

NB: there are other topics for prayer (including new one on care workers) on our shared website: www.churchbcp.org.uk/response/prayer


Sadly, more and more people are being subject to fraudulent email, texts, calls etc. The Council have put together some advice that you may want to pass on to others in your congregations (click here). We'll add this to the list of other help-lines and useful info on www.churchbcp.org.uk/response/info

Finally, it would be so helpful to know what issues you are picking up - some have talked to us about people saying they are struggling to keep paying electric/gas bills; the Citizens Advice helpline is a good start: 03444 111 444 (there is work going on for a single money advice line for the conurbation!)

Thank you again for being Salt and Light in your community: may you know God's peace and grace.

Go well...



BCP Homelessness Reduction Board update 22 April 2020

churchBCP Volunteer Registration Sheet - April20

Friday 17th April: new friendship line and bereavement help-line; plus on-line RE lessons

Hello friends,

We’ve started to receive some lovely stories and images from the Easter weekend (see attached photo) – with thousands of people tuning in to live stream or Youtube services on Resurrection Sunday: there are 82 churches listed with on-line services on our shared website www.churchbcp.org.uk/response!  So please share with friends, so that as many as possible can tune in to hear more of God’s Hope.

More updates to share with you – please pass on all that is relevant:

Friendship Help-line

There is a new PramaLife Friendship Line for anyone who is feeling lonely at this time: call anytime between 8am and 9pm – 01202 022987 (see attached poster).  Sue Warr from Prama has enough volunteers for now, but we will keep an eye on this.

Bereavement Help-line

There is also a new pastoral care help-line for use by crematoria and as a backup for chaplains at our local hospitals. It is aimed at supporting families during the current crisis.  It is a dedicated 7 day per week line set aside for Crematoria staff to call when and if bereaved families want pastoral support

On-line assemblies and RE lessons

The PACE team have created some great resources to help families and reach young people who are currently not at school or having RE/PSE lessons and assemblies etc. – click here for all the resources

Update on support for Rough Sleepers

There is a summary of all the help that is being given here

The good news is that over 140 people have been helped into temporary accommodation and at least 25 have now moved on into something more secure.  Churches are working together with Faithworks and the YMCA to supply over 90 rough sleepers with food and toiletries – we need your help with toiletries for men and women (bar of soap, shower gel, shampoo (normal), deodorant, Toothbrush, toothpaste, sanitary products) and ready meals (not frozen) – please drop them at the Storehouse (St Johns church hall, Surrey Road, BH12 1EG) between 8.30 and 10.30 each morning if you can do so safely, or call Mikey our warehouse/van lead on 07861 793673

Support your local care home?

We’d love to hear of any examples of churches connecting with their local care or residential home to offer practical and prayerful support during the crisis.  They are under so much pressure, is that something that your church might do?

A little story to finish with - one person recovering from addiction tuned in to the Revive Facebook page (lots of Christian resources for those in recovery) to hear a live interview with a former boxer - the person told us that on hearing this they have recommitted their life to Christ... Easter Hope!

Many thanks for all that you are doing - keep strong in Him


Thursday 9th April: support and activities over Easter; can you help in local Care Home?

Dear friends,

So, the most unusual Easter weekend ever is here…

… I wonder what Christians across BCP-land are doing this Easter Sunday to proclaim Jesus’ death and resurrection: singing down your street, prayer or Hope posters everywhere…  (send images to my email or point us to Facebook etc.).  If you are looking for ideas, we have put a few up on www.churchBCP.org.uk/response/worship together will info on lots of services that are being live-streamed


Some other updates for you:

Crisis support over Easter weekend:

Most foodbanks may be shut over the weekend to give staff and volunteers a well earned rest, but there are supplies of food parcels across each town; if someone in absolute crisis, then they should phone 0300 1237052 where the call centre team are aware of how to help. 

NB: thank you for all the food donations coming in – still very necessary please!!

And as from the last few days, a Churches-YMCA-Faithworks partnership have been working with the Council to make sure that over 70 people who have just come into emergency accommodation are getting a packed lunch and a cooked meal each day: that will be in place over the Easter weekend as well – thank you! 

If you are concerned over someone sleeping rough this weekend, then call the Out of Office Hours Tel. 01202 451467


Helping the most vulnerable

The Council told us today that postcards will start going out in the next few days to those who are especially vulnerable and may not have heard about the help-line – you can see what the postcard says here.

Note: One of the big issues is around collecting of prescriptions – again the Council confirmed today that the waiting times at pharmacies is a national issue; they are asking colleagues from Public Health to help resolve this, but the 0300 Helpline won’t be able to deal with this (their key focus is ensuring people have food)


Care Homes support

Finally a request from Homfray Vines, lay minister from St Marys Longfleet

“We are seeking assistance in enlisting additional care staff to work in 2 care homes (Glenhurst Manor on the West Cliff in Bournemouth, the other in Spetisbury), in the event that significant numbers of their existing staff become unavailable through illness during this epidemic.  They are seeking to build a pool of 'volunteers’ now, in advance of that eventuality.  Kevin's hope is that the church, along with other institutions, can be a source of these volunteers who will be added to a bank list of temporary help, available in an emergency. These ‘volunteer’ staff will receive appropriate training to carry out basic tasks, if they have not worked in care before, along with any necessary DBS checks, which the homes will organise and pay for. They will also be paid £10 per hour should they attend.”

Email me if you can help and we will pass it on

Many thanks and celebrate well...
Monday 6th April: help for rough sleepers, those in addiction, or facing mental health challenges

Dear friends,

Thank you for sending in summaries of what churches are doing across different parts of the conurbation - we are starting to hear stories from Creekmoor to Southbourne to Christchurch.

The local Christian response - all (or nearly all) in one place

We want to bring these stories together in one place so that we can praise God together, and potentially see ways in which we can serve our own street or community. So, we have now started populating www.churchBCP.org.uk/response - it has prayer topics, and will have information on help lines, ideas from other parts of the country etc.

We would love to put on here all the Easter activities that are taking place: so please let us know of any on-line services or special neighbour events that you are running and we'll put them on there! There are some creative ideas out there:
could we all sing Amazing Grace on Easter Sunday from our front doors at a set time?

Help for those in addiction or facing Mental Health

In the meantime, have a look at the attached documents that give you the latest numbers to call if people need help on mental health or addiction

Opportunities to help rough sleepers

As you know all rough sleepers have been invited inside - in the last week or so, the Council and St Mungo's teams have helped over 140 people into emergency accommodation (many who were vulnerably housed, sofa surfing etc.). There is information attached on what to do when you meet anyone still on the street.
A team from BCARS are working together with the Council to provide welfare support - next week, we will come back to you to ask for your help with books, games, toiletries and food

Bereavement and death management

Finally, don't forget, Jonathan Martin would love to hear back from you if you have any thoughts on these questions:

  1. In the current circumstances, what changes have you made to the way in which you take funerals, or what changes do you think you might make?
  2. In the current circumstances, how can all those who take funerals enable the bereaved to grieve well? e.g. one church has designed a resource for family and friends to use at home
  3. When by God's grace Covid 19 is behind us, how might we help the whole community acknowledge their sense of grief, thanksgiving and loss?

Please email jpmclmartin@gmail.com and copy reception@faithworkswessex.org.uk with any responses.
The government have just released guidance on care of the deceased - you can find it here

Thank you again for all you are doing - as God says to Joshua: "Be strong and courageous!"

Go well...



BCP Council - Covid-19 Temporary Accommodation Contingency Arrangements

Accessing Drug and Alcohol services during COVID-19

Covid Mental Health Support - overview

Tuesday 31st March: bereavement and death management update

Hello friends,

Thanks again for all you are doing at this time.  May God give you wisdom and strength.

I know that many of you will have other routes to receive information on the local response to Covid19, but we want to make sure there is consistent information from the Council and other authorities going out to all BCP churches.  Faithworks are working with Jonathan Martin, the faith sector link into the Local Resilience Forum, to identify that key information and send you a regular briefing.  We are also setting up a website where all this information will be held if you need to check it later, and we are working with churches in each ward/locality to find local contacts who can pass on this info and any ideas that come from the churches.

Today’s key issue is Bereavement / Death management:

Please find attached a formal joint communication from BCP Council and Dorset Council regarding the changes to be implemented following the enactment of the Coronavirus Act 2020 (Commencement No.1) Regulations 2020, effective from Monday 30th March 2020.

Jonathan has also prepared a briefing (also attached) on the death registration process, designed for funeral directors, but contains information which may be of help to you as a Christian leader as you seek to support the bereaved.

He would also be grateful to hear back from any churches on the following questions – we will potentially call an on-line meeting to discuss these if that is useful:

1.  In the current circumstances what changes have you made to the way in which you take funerals, or what changes do you think you might make?

2.  In the current circumstances, how can all those who take funerals enable the bereaved to grieve well?  e.g. one church has designed a resource for family and friends to use at home

3.  When by God's grace Covid 19 is behind us, how might we help the whole community acknowledge their sense of grief, thanksgiving and loss?

Please email jpmclmartin@gmail.com and copy reception@faithworkswessex.org.uk with any responses

Many thanks and go well

Saturday 28th March: Council 0300 help-line, response ideas for churches
Hello friends,
Here at Faithworks, we are seeking to facilitate a 2-way flow of info and ideas into and from BCP Council as the Coronavirus situation continues.
1. Council info to share out:
For example, the Leader of the Council has asked to us to communicate with as many churches as possible across the conurbation about Together We Can and the new dedicated phone line.  So could you please pass this info to your congregations, if they don't already have it:
a)  For vulnerable people, who have noone to support them, there is a new dedicated phone line: 0300 123 7052 open from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week.  Click here for more details
b) If individuals want to volunteer, then please get in touch with the Community Action Network (using this form)
c) and if individuals are supporting neighbours then the attached Community Response Pack is really helpful (click here for web version)
2. Your response as a local church:
Many churches are already responding in brilliant, imaginative ways.  Thank you.
It would be great to know about these, so that we can build up a picture to share with the Council and others; please email me or hello@faithworkswessex.org.uk.
We have 4 requests at this time, based on wisdom from other parts of the country that says “work to our strengths” and “pray to be ready for the long haul”!
a) Locality groups of churches: we would love to have 1-2 contacts within each ward through whom we can regularly communicate to get any messages out - please talk to churches in your area as to who could do this (we already have at least 8 wards covered)
b) Food: please support your local foodbank or satellite with food and volunteers - demand was manic for the last couple of weeks and some volunteers have had to step down
c) Good neighbours: the info above from the Council may help you with this, but if you are already on this, can we start sharing stories of what you are doing and the impact
d) Bereavement: this may become a big issue - are you already working on this or planning such?
Thank you so much - and may God give you wisdom, hope and strength at this time