Lockdown’s not over yet by a long stretch, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves. However, a number of friends and colleagues in organisations we work with have begun to develop resources to help churches and educational institutions reflect on the COVID-19 crisis and begin to plan for life beyond lockdown.
Knowing when best to use these resources needs careful thought, and most people we’re in touch with seem to be saying that there’s a window of opportunity at the point of emergence from lockdown – once the worst of the crisis has passed and before we begin to forget what it has been like. But knowing about these resources now may help us be prepared to use them when the time is right.
Group Reflection: Corona Time – Lichfield diocese’s discipleship, vocations and evangelism team lead, Lindsey Hall, who is also a Saltley Trustee, has been piloting a set of reflective questions to help congregations think through what has been learned from the crisis. The questions cover a range of topics including prayer, mission, calling and gifting, understanding of God, church buildings and congregational life. Click below for the draft questions, but we’ll add a revised version when developed.Corona Time
Living and Leading through Crisis – What is God Saying? – Guy Donegan-Cross, director of learning for discipleship and mission in the Church of England Birmingham, has developed a set of reflective questions on the ‘up, in and out’ dimensions of Christian discipleship (spirituality, church community and mission), in relation to three likely phases of the coronavirus crisis experience (drawing on an article by Christian cultural commentator Andy Crouch): the ‘blizzard’ of the immediate crisis, the ‘winter’ of the immediate period after lockdown, and the ‘mini-ice age’ 0f the long-term fall-out of the crisis. There is a set of questions in grid form, and another in column form. There’s also a short video here.
Preparing for the New Normal – is a United Reformed Church document designed to help congregations think through many of the practicalities of life after lockdown, particularly around worship, pastoral care and use of buildings.Preparing for the New Normal
Restore Schools is a reflective tool to help school leaders and teachers think through how to plan a humane and restorative return to school after lockdown, based on the RESTORE themes of Recognition, Empathy, Safety, [handling] Trauma, Opportunity [to change things], Relationships and Engagement. It has been put together by a coalition of organisations pioneering restorative approaches to education, including WM-based Peacemakers.Restore our Schools
For a FE/Sixth Form Chaplains virtual workshop in July 2020, I created this ideas generator grid, to spark thoughts and ideas on areas of college life in which a chaplain might seek to engage. It’s free to use and adapt, but please attribute the original source.FE and Sixth Form Chaplaincy emerging from lockdown - ideas generator grid
Supporting Primary Pupils’ Wellbeing during the Pandemic is a new Godly-Play inspired resource developed by teacher-researcher Elisabeth Sutcliffe and jointly produced by Godly Play UK and the trust Church Schools of Cambridge. There are four sessions, allowing pupils to explore positive and negative experiences of covid-19 and lockdown. More sessions will be added in due course.
If you know of other good resources being developed, which we could highlight here, do get in touch! We’ll update this page with more resources as they become available.
And from further afield…
10 Questions to Ask Now – is from the US-based Congregational Consulting Group (former members of the Alban Institute), focusing on understanding what we have lost, what we have assumed, and what we want to emerge. These in turn are based on an article by the Praxis Network, ‘Strategies for Winter: Redemptive Leadership in Survival Times’
Vibrant Faith is a US-based Christian organisations researching and sharing good practice in intergenerational faith formation within congregational contexts. In June they released a helpful guide to redesigning faith formation in the aftermath of the covid-19 crisis. The discussion of social distancing in this document relates to US guidelines at the time, and should be reinterpreted in the light of UK guidelines. However, pp. 6 onwards contain a very useful framework for thinking about creating virtual, blended and face-to-face faith formation opportunities, plus a great guide to useful apps, websites and platforms which may help support learning. As the guide is available free, with permission for reprinting by individuals and religious groups, we’re sharing it below.Vibrant Faith, A Guide to Transforming Faith Formation for a New World (2020)