COVID-19: Cinnamon network issues tips for churches on connecting with their communities
As churches across the UK look to be a blessing to their communities during the current crisis - as well as facing up to life without regular gatherings - the Cinnamon Network has come up with some helpful tips ...
- Coordinate efforts – Individuals want to help, but effort will be increased if we can work together. Think about setting up task force at church, that can work together to reach out and connect with voluntary groups, foodbanks, local businesses and local authorities.
Does the NHS need your church? – Church halls are a great resource. As the NHS adapts their services, could your church be used as blood clinics or for midwife appointments?
- Have a single point of contact – You can easily set up a Facebook page or use the NextDoor App to coordinate efforts and host information. It’s helpful to post information about your local area in one place. Make sure you have someone who takes responsibility for monitoring the page, so nothing is missed.
Take a look at how the town of Kendal is coordinating efforts via Facebook.
Mobilise teams by region – Even within towns, it’s helpful to have volunteers who take responsibility for reaching out in particular areas. They can help to coordinate leaflet drops, shopping deliveries and phone call outreach in that area.
- Reach out further – While you may know of elderly or vulnerable people within you church who are having to self-isolate, there will certainly be plenty of others who you don’t know of.
You can quickly print off some leaflets offering support and drop them through letter boxes in your area. You can offer to run errands, collect shopping or just provide a listening ear at the other end of the phone.
Encourage everyone to get involved – Those who are having to self-isolate may feel that there is little they can do to support others, but they have much to offer. They can phone, Facetime, Skype and text encouragement to others and, of course, they can continue to pray fervently for all those impacted.
"Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these."