Coronavirus (COVID-19) - St Mary's Response

Thank you for coming to the website for your local parish Church St Mary Magdalene with St Martin 

We are in very unusual and disorienting times at the moment. Our communities are understandably anxious and many are fearful.  

At St Mary Magdalene with St Martin (StMMM) we are closely monitoring and following advice around precautions for Covid-19 (Coronavirus). Below is a list of key advice and current adjustments (including links to health advice from official health organisations) already in place at St MMM and information on how this affects us practically. The information below also includes suggestions of ways in which we can help support and care for one another.

As the situation is ever-changing, we will endeavour to keep the information on this page as up to date as possible. So please do check back on a regular basis – updated 5pm Friday 5th June 2020.

Key Advice & Adjustments

Sunday services and other face to face gatherings at MMM are now suspended.  This includes the Floating Night Shelter.  Please pray for the wellbeing and future of the Floating Shelter guests.

The Leaders and Preachers Team continue to work on what forms of ‘Sunday worship’ we could share on-line to keep us connected and uplifted in faith, hope and love.

StMMM Church building cannot be open for public worship or Private Prayer

Our worship of God and our care for each other continue but cannot be done in this building.

Our website contains details of how to join others online for prayer, worship, study, and help with community life. See: www.stmmm.org.uk

Church Buildings (updated 4th June 2020)

Pre school has returned - The children are in three groups and stay within that group the entire day. Please pray for them and their teachers to remain fit and well, as the children enjoy the activities that are carefully planned. There are numerous restrictions on what they can do, yet the staff are very positive and imaginative in structuring the day for them. Parents must leave and collect the children from the main hall doors and not enter the building themselves.

Worship: we remain in lock down regarding acts of public worship although I as the vicar am allowed to enter the building for worship purposes. I expect we will be open for personal private prayer sometime in June. But we must wait and see.

Restrictions and entering the church buildings remain the same: no one may enter the church buildings as when others may do so it must be only on the basis of arranging day and time with me, and then notifying me when you enter and when you depart. Val and Preschool staff are allowed into church halls complex as is our cleaner. But always with notification being given.

Our ministry as a church  is  directed in two ways: maintaining a community of worship and prayer, and witnessing to the love of God to our wider community. We will be supporting and resourcing church members where they are , and encouraging as much creative, practical care, support and fellowship amongst church members as we possibly can. To do this we have a group of worship leaders and preachers putting ideas together for worship, and others engaged in coordinating care.

There will be links on website and sent out by email/mail for Sunday worship and  daily readings and prayer 

Trinity Sunday 7th June: There will be two services at 10am and 6.30pm on You Tube

10am All Age Morning Worship service available to watch on You Tube so that you may join in from home.

6.30pm Service of prayer for healing and wholeness with the Laying on of hands available to watch on You Tube so that you may join in from home.

Weekdays : thoughts for each day are based on the readings set  for  that day from the lectionary, and are written and given by members of the church family.

Children and Young People : We have a created a page of resources for children and young people.

Community Help and Support: The Addiscombe Covid-19 Mutual Aid Group (ACMAG) has done a great job in enabling street-residents groups to be set up in order to help one another. This is happening through out our parish . You can find the group on face book. 

In addition there is a great need for donated food for the work of the CVA and other charities so the same ACMAG and our councillor Sean Fitzsimons have arranged a drop off point For your donations of necessary goods at St Mildred’s centre from March 31st - 30th June. Please read the information I have been sent and respond as generously as you are able . With every blessing and thanks Amanda 

An email from Jerry Fitzpatrick our councillor to everyone in the church family:

Vulnerable residents may be struggling to get delivery slots with supermarkets.

People need to be registered as clinically vulnerable with the government website to get their delivery slots. Some residents haven’t done that as they thought they only had to register if they needed a government food parcel. 

The Council has been in touch both with regional supermarket managers (including at Sainsbury’s head office) and local managers. They are doing everything they can to prioritise vulnerable people and create more delivery slots. We are talking residents through the steps they need to take to register with the government and the supermarkets. We are also directing people to local businesses offering deliveries as an alternative to supermarkets. 

If you come across anyone who is struggling to get a supermarket slot for a delivery of their food please can you help them with the following information.

The first thing they need to do is make sure they are on the clinically vulnerable list. To do this they need to register on the government’s website here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable

If they are struggling to do this then they or someone on their behalf can either contact the Council or the vulnerable person’s local GP practice who can help.

Once their application has been validated, the Sainsbury’s website should read across to the government database and enable you to register for a priority delivery slot. 

Instructions for registering with Sainsbury’s are as below:

1. Step 1 - you must have an already existing account and you need either a previous 9 digits order number or your nectar card number.

· Step 2 - the name of the person on the account MUST be the person who ALREADY registered on GOV.UK as clinically extremely vulnerable. If you haven`t registered on GOV, go and do that first as it takes 3-5 days for the registration to work as the GOV have to verify if your name is on the NHS vulnerable list.

2. Step 3 - Login and try to book a slot, it will give you an 0800 number (not the standard helpline) to call to confirm your vulnerability registration, DON`T wait for Sainsbury to call you, they likely will not contact you.

3. Step 4 - during this call you need to use your last order 9 digit or your nectar card and DOB to identify yourself. This is an automatic process; you DO NOT need to speak to anyone.

4. Step 5 - you will get a text notification it’s in progress

5. Step 6 - Sainsbury will check your account according to the database provided by the Government. If it matches, in 24-48 hours you are good to go.

A similar process is available for other supermarkets

Vulnerable individuals and their carers who have any difficulties are welcome to get in touch with the Council.

Anyone struggling to access food is welcome to contact the Council and the delivery of a food parcel will be arranged. Contact details are available are available on the Croydon website at www.croydon.gov.uk. Coronavirus advice is clearly signposted.

There are a number of local delivery options (away from the supermarkets) that can offer basic supplies through a home delivery service – see links below. Note that businesses are adding themselves to these lists all the time:

https://covid19-mylocal.uk/

www.myvirtualneighbourhood.com

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1wG4Ih3FaZwiZ5n6kcNW1-WKw_CETCmRKUhW2FCXocgk/edit#gid=1314787572

Kind regards 

Jerry Fitzpatrick Councillor for Addiscombe West

Help for those experiencing Domestic Abuse

Lockdown has raised many needs in our community. Not least those who suffer domestic abuse. Domestic abuse may affect anyone at any time, but the isolation resulting from COVID-19 is particularly affecting victims/survivors of domestic abuse. The National Domestic Abuse helpline has seen a 25% increase in calls and online requests for help since the lockdown, according to the charity Refuge. Victims/survivors of domestic abuse may be self-isolating with someone who is harming them, and they may feel they have no way out. Previous places of safety or respite, such as friends, family or local churches, may no longer appear accessible.

It is vital that victims/survivors of domestic abuse know that they are not alone and there is still help available in these challenging times.  Please follow this link for information that will help you.

In addition we want to inspire and energise church members to join with others in our wider community to offer practical support and care for those who will feel most vulnerable in our society at this time. eg those who are older and those who have underlying health conditions or who have had to self-isolate. Be aware you are only allowed to be outside for reasonable exercise and to do essential shopping. 

As a church family we want to do our part to offer both prayerful and practical support for those who are being affected by these adjustments or any other effects around Covid-19. As such many  of you have offered help in shopping and picking up prescriptions for those who are unable to leave their home.  If you can offer help and haven’t already been contacted by Jen or Val would you please contact the church office if you can help. This help must be given with due consideration of the seriousness of our situation. In other words it must  be incorporated into the ‘essential shopping’ trip that you will take for yourself. If you are not in the parish Check  your local residents association to see if you can join in to help there.

  1. Please follow the government advice on staying at home for 7 days from the onset of symptoms (new continuous cough or high temperature) and carefully follow the government advice regarding ending self-isolation.
  2. We strongly encourage everyone to follow Public Health England’s general best practice hygiene advice
  3. We also strongly encourage everyone to follow the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s advice if you have recently travelled back from overseas or are planning to travel.

Please let me know if you would like to suggest other ways of sharing in prayer and worship and learning and helping during this extraordinary time. 

The Vicar, that’s Amanda Johnson,  and churchwardens of this church Ms Isabella Lisk can be contacted in an emergency by telephoning 0206 656 3457 or emailing stmmmoffice@btinternet.com  or amanda@stmmm.org.uk 0208 654 3459

With love and grace

Amanda 

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength . . . Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”

To protect the vulnerable amongst us, please do not leave your home except for essential trips.