St Mary's Church Charlbury with Shorthampton

Pandemic plan

Here is the current pandemic plan for St Mary’s Charlbury and All Saints.

Parish of Charlbury with Shorthampton


  1. Structures
    • The aim of this plan is to ensure as far as possible the continued mission and ministry of parishes, and the maintenance of the critical ongoing business of the parish.
    • The Incumbent’s nominated deputy is Paddy Gallagher. Dine Glasgow will fulfil this role should Sally and Paddy be unwell.
    • The Incumbent, or her nominated deputy, will provide a channel for daily communication, by email or phone, with the Area Dean and Archdeacon.
    • The Incumbent and deputies will have emergency contact details for the Area Dean’s deputy.
    • The Plan will be implemented when the Bishop of Oxford has invoked the Diocesan Pandemic Plan, in response to appropriate changes in the Pandemic Alert State.
  2.   Communication
    • The Parish Office and the Churchwardens will have contact details of:
    • Clergy and Licensed Lay Ministers who are available for ministry and pastoral care
    • those involved in services and other church activities
    • Those clergy with underlying health conditions and those in the 70s and 80s age bracket are to consider carefully the point at which to withdraw from public ministry.

            Information about the pandemic and any appropriate advice will be displayed

  1. on a notice board in church
  2. in the weekly sheet The Messenger
  3. on the church website and FaceBook Page
  4. in The Leaflet
  • General Hygiene
    • Anti-bacterial gel at entrance to church, with welcomers encouraging community and visitors to use on entry
    • Tissues and bin provided by church entrance
    • Cleaning: those who clean the church should ensure that door handles, the kitchen and toilet facilities be disinfected each week.
    • Disinfecting: main door handle, altar rails and bannisters to be disinfected before services
    • Disinfecting: backs of chairs to be disinfected weekly
    • Paper towels only to be used in the toilet, and for drying communion vessels.
    • Tissues, bins and hand gel to be placed in the church.
  • Worship
  1. All services will continue to be held as usual, as far as is possible and according to the advice or otherwise of the Government and the Diocese of Oxford.
    1. Should it not be possible to hold services in church, prayer cards and bible readings will be made available to all parishioners via emails, the website, and in church.
    1. Copies of prayers for the sick and the dying and also a copy of the funeral service will be sent on request to those unable to attend the funeral of a friend or relative.
    1. All Services:
      1. Clergy will refrain from shaking hands at the church door in order to avoid transmitting the virus from person to person.
      1. announcements should be given advising the congregation of the appropriate arrangements.
      1. those who have the virus, or symptoms of it, should remain at home. Clergy will offer pastoral care as appropriate.
    1. Holy Communion:
      1. The celebrant, assisting clergy, servers and sacristans will follow a strict hand hygiene policy before handling any communion vessels or elements. This involves the regular washing of hands or the use of alcohol-based gel.
      1. The bread will be administered into hands only, not directly into the mouth. The distribution of the chalice will be suspended when advised to do so by the Archbishops and Diocesan Bishop:
      1. Sharing the Peace will be by non-physical contact.
  2. Ongoing pastoral support
  1. For those who are needing to self-isolate, support will be offered by phone calls, emails and via social media, and liaison with ATIC for help with the delivery of shopping and / or medication. It is very important all church members involved in such support are very clear on and committed to adhering to the Government’s isolation advice.
    1. A list of next of kin details will be drawn up for parishioners who live alone for those who wish it.
    1. The pastoral team will provide telephone support and prayer for those who are fearful or otherwise distressed.
  • If public gatherings prohibited
    • Material to be provided for prayer and reflection in church by individuals- adults and children
    • Signposting provided to websites for services/prayers etc
    • Church website to be regularly updated with additional resources
    • Contact with congregation to be maintained via:– phone calls, emails, Facebook etc
    • Church community to liaise with other service providers within the community – eg ATIC
    • Church leadership team to Network with local health, welfare, safety networks, funeral directors and other service providers. Contact details for these service providers are held by key parish leadership.

7)  Activities

Each church group will consider what action must be taken in the event of key people not being available to run the activity. The following should be considered:

  1. maintaining an up to date list of contact details for the group
  2. deciding at what point the activity will be cancelled
  3. decide how members of the group will be kept informed
  4. nominate at least one person to be responsible for hygiene
  5. notify the Parish Office or Churchwardens of decisions made in this context.

8).  Finance

a) There should be at least one other person, as well as the Treasurer, who is familiar with the church accounts and is able to administer them appropriately.

b) The Gift Aid Officer should ensure another appropriate person could administer the Gift Aid arrangements if necessary.

c) In the event of churches being closed, regular giving could be encouraged through direct debit arrangements.

d) Anyone handling cash should protect themselves from virus transmission by washing hands or using hand gel beforehand and afterwards, or by wearing appropriate gloves.

13th March 2020