Tuesday 28 April 2020

Choice phrases selected from official birdemic guidelines of the Church of England

These are quoted from the official guidance directed at priests. I will refrain from commenting, except to add emphasis, here and there: 

In response to government legislation, the archbishops and bishops have advised all churches to close completely during the government lockdown. This is both to reduce travel and to help to model best practice in maintaining social distance. The Archbishops’ Council is aware that some elements of what the Archbishops are asking goes beyond what is required by government but considers that this shows the Church modelling the very best practice* in promoting social distancing and reinforcing the message to stay home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

Can I livestream a service from within the church? No.

Should I stop access to the site, as well as to the church building itself? Ensure that vehicle access to your church is secured if possible, so that vehicles cannot easily access the building itself. If you have gates, close and lock them.

Can we do anything to keep an eye on the building? ... There will probably be members of the congregation taking their daily exercise or shopping for essentials whose route will pass by the church. They could check if all looks well from the outside, without entering the building... A pair of binoculars can be helpful in assessing the building.

Can a nursery still operate from church premises? The government has issued specific advice for early years and childcare. Early years provision can stay open for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children.

Correcting the time of the clock, winding the clock, and raising or lowering of flags does not justify the risk of a lone person climbing the tower.

Can I collect post that is delivered to the church? Yes, but only if this is done as part of exercise or another essential trip... collecting post cannot be considered an essential activity that would justify a separate journey.

Can I access my closed church to do the cleaning? ... Cleaning cannot be considered an essential activity that would justify a separate journey. Please be aware that a building in which someone who may have the [birdemic] has been is considered ‘dirty’ (i.e. may contain infection) for 72 hours afterwards.

Should we still pay our parish share? Parishes should aim to pay as much of their parish share – ideally all – as they are able. The work of the Church continues, albeit in a different way.

Are we allowed to lead worship outdoors, if people maintain 2m distance? No. The Archbishops have given clear guidance that our church buildings are closed and there should be no public worship.

Will food banks have to close? Foodbanks and services such as GoodSAM should continue where possible under strict guidelines

The church (or a hall) is used for blood donation, can it continue? Yes. Donating blood is an essential activity, and travelling to give blood is allowed.

My summary - The Archbishops have decided, going beyond government requirements, that (ideally) churches should be closed, locked, nobody should enter the building or their grounds, and no public worship should occur. On the other hand, church buildings may still be used for non-Christian purposes. And the congregation should continue to pay their full tithe.   

* This phrase is the nearest to an explicit confession of being engaged in virtue signalling, that I've yet encountered. Some more Church-birdemic themed posts can be found by following links from here


Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

Really unbelievable! This has ventured into the realm of self-parody.

William Wildblood said...

Hilarious really. Old Nick himself couldn't have done a better job.

Nathan Wright said...

No fig leaf whatsoever: just a secular bureaucracy doing its work. This really drive's home Bruce's recurring point about good and evil becoming easier and easier to tell apart.

Moonsphere said...

We now have a Church that is frightened of death and which looks up to the State as to an elder brother.

A State which, to quote Valentin Tomberg, is not super-human, but sub-human.

Andrew said...

There is certainly your "line", it seems they are being as blatant as possible with this.

Faculty X said...

That's just about right.

Several years ago I began what Mormons call an investigation into their church and others after that.

In every case I found what in the old days would have been called sedition (by women in the case of the Mormons), and apostasy in all churches... (the one exception may be Jehovah's Witnesses...)

Christianity and the Old Testament shows the religion is not meant to be a social club submitting to modernist conformity.

I don't think the shut-down is diabolical; instead, the opposite - it's the Most High at work as He was shown to work again and again in the Old Testament.

The shut-downs of churches as places of meaningless social gatherings, or worse nests of apostasy and corruption, are a good thing.

Were I reporting in to the one true God after my investigations concluded a few years ago the current outcome would be exactly in line with what I would expect if His intentions as revealed by the Holy Bible were True.

Maybe more people will go inward, read the Bible, and make a decision if they want their supposed religion to match the revealed Word.

Sean G. said...

They're not even pretending the church has any importance beyond being a good role model to all subjects of the bureaucratic state—only exception being one throw away line about the church's work continuing in some way they don't say. Would that line have even made it in if they weren't asking for money?

I'm surprised they didn't forbid doing the sign of the cross, lest we accidentally touch our face and kill our whole family!

a_probst said...

Out here in the US a number of Catholic Churches including mine stream Masses from the church with a camera showing the apse, altar, and lectern.

Sad that the Church of England has gone 'all in' on this.

James Higham said...

Senior clergy most certainly play for the other side.

Anonymous said...

Wow, all of these strict precautions to avoid spreading the birdemic...but blood transfusions are allowed!

Luther Burgsvik said...

So the CofE has abandoned God and is now an institution that centres around taking in vulnerable children, and giving blood and money to the state. Well that's a rather unsettling combination of activities.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

"This phrase is the nearest to an explicit confession of being engaged in virtue signalling, that I've yet encountered."

Ah, if only it were virtue that were being signaled!

Bruce Charlton said...

@Commenters - Thanks.

I did wonder whether anybody would be interested by this stuff! Clearly you find it as fascinating as I do.

What is so interesting is that it is a bureaucratic memo - not confidential, but intended primarily for internal consumption. Such things reveal the day to day attitudes and assumptions of an organisation.

Anonymous said...

I just caught up with this as reposted at Anglican Ink on 6 May - with the asterisk in the text but (at the time I write this) the footnote somehow omitted and no note of your original date of posting it here. The comments there reward one's attention - I would say, those by "Katie" in particular.

David Llewellyn Dodds

Bruce Charlton said...

@DLD - Yes, the later comments seemed to 'get it', more than the earlier. But it is clear that for many Christians, government health 'advice' is *so much* more important priorities than Jesus and/or their church, that they cannot even rise to hypocrisy on the subject.