Notices, 29 March 2020
There are various things that might be helpful to know during these unusual times of social distancing and self-isolation.
Volunteer Networks in West Malling and Offham
St Mary’s in West Malling and St Michael’s in Offham are working with the respective Parish Councils, local clubs, other churches, community groups, societies and agencies to create a network of volunteers who want to help and link them with people who need help during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Hopefully you will have had a leaflet through your door about it, or seen something online already. If you are fit and healthy and under 70 and are willing to support neighbours with picking up groceries or prescriptions, or running errands to the Post Office or similar, or you can help with befriending and speaking with people on the phone who otherwise live alone, please let us know.
Similarly, if you need help because you are elderly or vulnerable in other ways, or unwell, or needing to self-isolate and not leave the house at all, please let us know and we will fix you up with some people who live near you, who we have vouched for, and who have been given some basic training to help.
Our two churches have been pleased to back this community effort of all sorts of different groups and to lend our existing infrastructure of pastoral care, safeguarding, GDPR and privacy to the effort to enable a collective effort and provide some reassurance to those seeking help.
To sign-up to help or ask for help, please click the respective button below to find out more about the West Malling Volunteers if you live in West Malling. Or, if you live in Offham, click the button to sign-up to the Offham Community Network.
Further suspension of church activity
Following the Prime Minister’s announcements of further restriction on movements, St Mary’s and St Michael’s were further restricted in what we can and can’t do. Rev David provided an update earlier this week. You can watch what he had to say on YouTube.
Do you need a Prayer Card?
Rev David has produced a short service of Prayer for those in isolation at home. Laminated, easy-to-wipedown, copies were distributed to a number of people earlier this week; especially those who are elderly, vulnerable, those in isolation or unwell and also a few people that David thought might like a copy. If you didn’t get one and you would like one, you can either ask for one or download it from this website (pdf file) and print it off.
Message from Community Safety Unit, Tonbridge & Malling Police:
You should all be aware that there have been reports of persons claiming to be from the Health Authority knocking on doors and offering to take temperatures of elderly people. Please tell elderly relatives/neighbours not to let unknown people into their homes.
Further to this there are also coronavirus-themed phishing emails, with infected attachments containing fictitious ‘safety measures’, hereby making money out of exploiting people’s fears over COVID-19.
(Editor comment: In regard to our Volunteer Networks we’ve set up in West Malling and Offham, our Volunteers will have an ID badge that they can show you to prove they are legitimate.)
Spadework Vegetable boxes and Collection service
The wonderful people at Spadework do veggie boxes that could be a real godsend for those who are isolated. Why not ask about whether you can sign up?
We grow our own fruit and vegetables for our Farm Shop and Café. We also sell and deliver veg boxes in the local area and supply a number of high profile restaurants.
Please get in touch if interested in placing an order.
Available for delivery and collection! pic.twitter.com/aj2WX6EnfD
— Spadework (@Spadeworkoffham) March 18, 2020
Spadework have also said:
Call us with your grocery, fresh fruit and veg, wine, beer and spirit orders. We have stocked up with essentials such as eggs, meat, pasta, bread flour, part-baked bread, tins of soup and more, as well as baked goods, biscuits, snacks and our usual range of luxury items. We’ll call you back with a total price once your order has been entered onto our till, take card payment over the phone, and let you know when the order will be ready to collect. At the agreed collection time, one of our team will bring the order out to your car. You can then check the goods and load them into your boot, whilst we keep our distance in order to ensure your safety. We may even be able to arrange delivery (subject to a delivery charge) if you live in Offham, West Malling or Kings Hill.
If you’re fortunate enough to look younger than 25 and have ordered alcohol. we will, of course, have to see some proof of age! We have good stocks of most of our lines at the moment, but are limiting the numbers of each item purchased in order to give everyone a chance to get what they need. Spadework Farm Shop Direct Dial Number: 01732 879 088 Current opening hours 9:30 am – 4:00 pm. Also, please note that Spadework’s Garden Centre is open for business as usual.
The Swan are doing deliveries and a free dish of the day if you’re over 70 and self-isolating
Call 01732 521910 to find out more. You’ll have to excuse the dark humour on the menu!
Our takeaway menu, hope gallows humour amuses & doesn’t upset! Free dish of the day to over 70s who are self isolating in #WestMalling area. Maybe @RevDavidGreen might know of neighbours needing our help. @MarinaOLoughlin give us a retweet please!https://t.co/ce4G2uoEsQ
— The Swan (@swanwm) March 19, 2020
News from Brazil
What a strange time we are living in. I really hope you are well as I write this update. We are all well, thank God and are all at home as Schools are closed and we are not allowed to go to Revive. However we feel a call to spend quality time with God and each other and are praying that in this time God would do a transforming work in us and prepare us for whatever is coming. The message we are receiving from our church leaders is to hold on to the three greatest things, faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love. It is so tempting to start to worry about the future etc but we need to keep our focus on Jesus in the storm and find ways to reach out to people in love.
We felt our first step of working in the community was to build relationships and pray. We started building relationships and were happy to have local Pastors round for tea. It was a very positive meeting and both pastors expressed a desire to work together and build God’s Kingdom. This is very encouraging because in our local area, sometimes people do their own thing and we feel our role is to bring unity. At this time we will continue to build relationships, bring unity, network where we can through the Internet and of course keep praying!
The children are homeschooling and are doing well with that. Please pray for us as a family that we can make the most of this time especially in seeking God and spending time with each other and to discern how God wants us to respond. Please pray for our church leaders too. Stay close to God and those you love. Stay connected and pray God’s kingdom come!
Much love from,
Sarah and Daniel”