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Support for workers as pandemic goes on

12 June 2020

Jersey Road PR

Sarann Buckby with a resident of a Pilgrim’s Friend Society care home

Sarann Buckby with a resident of a Pilgrim’s Friend Society care home

CARE-HOME workers in Hampshire have been sleeping in a church near by to avoid spreading coronavirus among their families.

The staff of Wessex Lodge Care Home, in Whitchurch, had initially been sleeping on the floor of the care home, but rooms were made available for them in the church annex at All Hallows’, a 15-minute walk from the home. There are six rooms with lavatories, exclusively for the use of staff. The church annex is closed to the public; so there is no risk of passing the virus to colleagues or families.

The Christian care-home provider Pilgrims’ Friend Society has called on the Church in the UK to pray for the elderly and the care sector that supports them during Prayer Week 2020, which ends tomorrow.

The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, spoke in a House of Lords debate last week on the future of the economy. He said: “After the financial crash 12 years ago, the banks were bailed out with public money, but it was paid for by reducing public services. Now, correctly in my view, the Government are paying for citizens to be furloughed and for increased health measures; but we do not have the unifying vision which will help us rebuild our nation, nor the will to pay for it proportionately.

“What can we learn from this crisis? First, we need something more than a safety net. A safety net is not a vision; it is a last resort. We need a vision for a society where everyone is raised up and where everyone recognises their responsibility to the whole, as in a household. “

He continued: “Simply getting the economy up and running in the next year might help balance the books, but it will be a disaster for the next generation. We need an economic reset that is based around the common good and the well-being of the planet: anything less will not be economical.”

The Rt Revd Lord Harries of Pentregarth, a former Bishop of Oxford, speaking in the same debate, said: “I do not believe that the economic lessons to be learned from this distressing time can be separated from wider social and moral issues.” He drew attention to low levels of pay among frontline workers and called on the Government to “set a benchmark of a real living wage, as opposed to simply a minimum wage.”

Quakers in Britain have co-launched Build Back Better, a campaign for a just and environmentally conscious recovery from the pandemic. Sponsored by the European Climate Foundation and the Oak Foundation, the campaign involves a range of organisations. They are calling on the Government to safeguard people’s health, regardless of their income level; to invest in public services; to “decarbonise” the economy; to support sectors that “nourish society”; and to build solidarity across borders which ends global inequality.

St Albans Cathedral will be streaming its “reimagined” 2020 pilgrimage live on YouTube on 21 June at 10 a.m. The eucharist will be held at the Shrine of St Alban. Taking part in the service will be the broadcaster the Revd Richard Coles, Vicar of Finedon, in Peterborough diocese, and Daisy Cooper MP. The cathedral is also working with the local authority to encourage people to make red roses and follow self-guided pilgrimage walks.

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