Explore what Others have Found Helpful
Explore a range of resources drawn from within the Church in Wales and beyond. In addition to General Resources, you will find helpful signposting for Health and Wellbeing. Beyond this, there are all sorts of excellent materials available to help at this time, and this is just a small collection of some of those which hopefully people will find especially useful. They cover:
- Youth & Children’s Resources
- Liturgical Resources
- Non-Liturgical Resources
- Adnoddau Iaith Gymraeg
- Life Events (Funerals, Weddings, Baptisms)
- Tutorials (Zoom/Skype/Church Facebook)
General advice from the Church in Wales
For general guidance and information regarding the Church in Wales’ response to the Covid-19 pandemic, see here.
This website includes information about church buildings, pastoral care, life-events (inc funerals) and provides further information and advice from the Bench of Bishops.
Covid Support for Churches
Whatever other resources you come across, be sure to take a look at this one. In its own words, it brings together a collection of digital communication tools for church leaders, communications teams and church staff. There is some excellent material on here, it is predominantly UK specific, and it covers a wide range of subjects. Do take a look if you haven’t stumbled across this already.
Transforming Ministry has provided some useful resources for ministers seeking further advice and guidance in the Covid pandemic. This website provides some very good and practical around using digital media, as well as lots of good information and articles on funeral ministry https://transformingministry.co.uk/spotlight-on/
The Sheldon Hub has also produced some useful resources, offering information to those in ministry, comprised of a Forum and a Blog. The hub provides general information regarding the virus, and is a place in which clergy can meet together, support one another, and share ideas. You will need to create an account to access the online material. https://www.sheldonhub.org/
The CEEP Network has released a number of useful videos which provide information and ideas regarding how to deal and manage the Covid-19 pandemic from a church perspective, with information regarding administration, communication, finance, stewardship, and changing ecclesial identity. https://www.ceepnetwork.org/ceep-network-resources-for-the-covid-19-crisis/
New Wine Cymru has also provided digital resources in the areas of leadership, evangelism, online service clips and general digital tutorials. https://newwinecymru.co.uk/resources/digital-resources/helpful-other-how-to-resources
Spring Harvest have made available videos from their conference week, called ‘Spring Harvest Home’. The videos provide useful information for personal spiritual development, and are accessible through their YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/user/SpringHarvest
Whilst this resource is not specifically faith-related, it provides some useful information regarding general management skills which are crucial in times of crisis. It also offers information on crisis management, working in and managing teams effectively, mental health wellbeing and how body language is conveyed and interpreted through online meetings. https://www.managers.org.uk/insights/leading-through-uncertainty?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=socialann&utm_campaign
Health and Well-being
St Luke’s Church in London has published some useful blog posts outlining some of the issues clergy may be facing with regards to the pandemic, as well as providing information and guidance about ‘crisis fatigue’ and how to overcome this. https://www.stlukesforclergy.org.uk/news/
As part of this they have a virtual well-being programme for clergy to https://www.stlukesforclergy.org.uk/st-lukes-virtual-wellbeing-programme/ which contains a particularly useful and practical article for clergy whom themselves have suffered loss entitled ‘Self Care at a Time of Loss’
This article by Ron Bushyager looks at Christian Formation at a time of Coronavirus, and presents a framework for thinking about crises and our emotional response to them https://www.mindandsoulfoundation.org/
Youth and Children’s Resources (Please note that there is a charge for some of these resources)
- www.illustratedministry.com – free All Age Resources during Covid 19
- www.godventures.com – books and resources especially for families
- www.familyministry.co.uk – especially for families
- Godly Play (and associated books) by Jerome Berryman
- Messy Church (and associated books) by Lucy Moore
- And for your children by John and Chris Leech
- www.rootsontheweb.com Roots
- www.scriptureunion.org.uk/light/ Light
- www.kevinmayhew.com Living Stones
- www.familyministry.co.uk Children's Ministry
- www.urbansaints.org Changing the future one life at a time
- www.markgriffiths.net – Leadership Development, Mission, Children and Families
- http://tammytolman.blogspot.co.uk/ - Leadership Development, Families
- https://www.belleministry.com/ - Especially for Girls to discover value and identity
- http://www.childrencan.co.uk/blog/ - Leadership, Children, Spiritual Gifts, Mission and Evangelism
- New Wine Kids
- Kids Leaders Network
For a useful booklet outlining liturgy that has been adapted to meet the needs of the Coronavirus pandemic and is intended to be read and followed from home, see the below resource from Dominic Austin Cawdell in the Diocese of St Asaph. Although much of it is relevant to Lent and Easter, it contains readings and prayers through Eastertide until Pentecost https://dioceseofstasaph.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/praying-at-home-4.pdf
The Chair of the Standing Liturgical Advisory Commission has produced and made accessible Orders for Morning and Evening Prayer, as well as Meditative Prayers of Intercession within the Covid-19 pandemic. These are available in both English and Welsh.
Bob Capper has recently launched a resource that encourages individuals and communities to continue to read the Bible throughout the pandemic. The ‘Lockdown Starter Bible’ consists in a booklet and six short videos which give hints and outlines a plan for exploring the meaning of the Bible in a deeper way http://lockdownstarterbible.com/
The following website provides advice and guidance for families, and includes a short video, as well as access to a ‘Kingdom Kit’ which details an easy-to-follow outline of prayers and activities the family can participate in. https://www.thykingdomcome.global/resources/kingdom-kit
For advice and information regarding some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the Church and Covid-19, as well as guidance on mental wellbeing, safeguarding issues and community action, and information regarding broadcasts, apps and other digital resources that may be of use, see https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-churches#na
The Diocese of Bangor have put together a ‘Together at the Table’ programme which is aimed at young families. They have also outlined pastoral guidance in relation to the virus. https://bangor.eglwysyngnghymru.org.uk/coronafirws/
Welsh Language Resources
Swansea and Brecon Youth facebook page has many great resources that they have been sharing for all ages. One of the resources that has been created is ‘Cymuned Bach’ in both Welsh and English. Here’s the page link:
Each week they put on ideas of games, craft and Bible stories for the family to do together.
Children, Youth & Families Officer (Greater Brecon)
Jack Newbould works for a Christian youth organisation based in Carmarthenshire called M.I.C (Menter Ieuenctid Cristnogol Sir Gâr). He’s been busy creating videos in Welsh for the family around the theme of Who is God. The films are titled ‘Teyrnas y Teulu’ and can be found on YouTube and here’s the link:
Since the epidemic, the ‘Teuluoedd Esgobaeth Bangor Families’ have been sharing their newsletter of ideas, usually sent out to the ministry areas through mailchimp, although anyone can sign up. In it they share ideas for worshipping together as a family using the things that you already have at home. Along with this, the page shares information from across the diocese.
Welsh Christian Resources: ideas and information during this time of self-isolation.
Support and encouragement for individuals, families, Sunday Schools and churches.
Response to Covid-19
Devotional resources to use during this time of self-isolation.
Churches that are producing services online
Resources and encouragement on social media.
Sunday School reosurces
Prayers and meditation around Coronovirus.
There are some Welsh resources available on the Diocese of St Asaph website, as you think through how to reach out to people with services.
There are Reading Sheets and Order of Service sheets available in both English and Welsh, maybe these could be used to post out to your church members, in particular the ones who don’t have any access to the internet.
This resource, written by Pete Brown, is aimed at young people aged 11 -16. ‘Stori Wir’ (also available in English – True Story) It gets them to start thinking about Christianity, and the videos that go along with this resource are available the the SUEnglandandWales YouTube channel;
A good way of still reaching out to your youth group during lockdown.
‘Arwyr Ancora’ is a free app created by Scripture Union, available in both Welsh and English (Guardians of Ancora) It’s aimed at children who can play the game and discover more about Jesus for themselves. You will need to search and download the English version in the app stores, one downloaded it will give you the option to play in either English or Welsh on your tablet or phone. There are a lot of resources that go with this app, and there are different activities for children within the app itself.
Life Events (Funerals, Weddings, Baptisms)
The Church in Wales website also provides advice and information regarding general funeral practice at this time, including advice for all those ministering who have concerns regarding their own health and safety, and outlines the most up-to-date information regarding Welsh practice and guidance in line with Welsh Government Regulations.
Transforming Ministry has uploaded a wealth of resources that provide information about how funerals are to be conducted within the restrictions of Covid-19. Please note that some of this information is Church of England specific, and some of the practicalities vary from area to area, but the information and input given remains enlightening and useful, including reflections and practical ideas regarding pastoral care, financial advice, funeral arrangements and practicalities, as well as resources that can be printed.
In this blog article by John Funnell, he provides a useful and practical account of how the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way in which funerals take place. His reflections involves some practical guidelines concerning ways in which funeral preparation and interaction with the families can be undertaken safely, and provides an overview of the structure and layout of a funeral under new Coronavirus restrictions.
The website ‘The Art of Dying Well’ has uploaded a useful webpage which outlines some practical ways in which deathbed etiquette has been reimagined in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. The page encourages self-reflection at this time, and outlines simple, yet powerful steps that can help individuals to understand their own thought and feelings, as well as those of people around them.
The Church of England have uploaded several resources that provide useful information regarding how ministers can continue to conduct funerals safely and sensitively, with specific information regarding caring for the bereaved, and working with funeral directors available in a pdf from the link below.
Durham University Centre for Death and Life Studies have created a Covid 19 hub which contains a large number of articles and news stories focused on grief and the nature of funerals during these unprecedented times. As well as some really useful practical information regarding funerals the pastoral issues associated with them, there is also some really thought-provoking stuff here reflecting on how the pandemic has disrupted conventional processes normally associated with grief and mourning.
Current Church in Wales guidance advises that; “Marriages and marriage blessings can no longer take place in churches. If a couple wish to marry because of an extreme pastoral emergency, it may be possible to obtain an Archbishop of Canterbury’s Special Licence for a wedding outside of a church, and clergy should discuss the matter with their diocesan bishop”
The Church in Wales has advised that; “Baptisms can no longer take place in churches, and should only take place at home, hospital, hospice or other location in case of an extreme pastoral emergency, where baptism may be administered by a lay person”. The website also provides an order for emergency baptism, and outlines that if no ordained minister is available, a lay person may minister baptism.
Online Tutorials and Articles about Online Ministry
For further help in using and utilising Zoom as a platform, the Zoom website has provided a series of short videos which outline how to use Zoom, including how to join and schedule meetings, how to screen share, and how to control and implement ‘Breakout Rooms’ https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us
The Practicalities of Using Zoom for Church
Gafcon UK has produced a detailed resource outlining the positive and negative aspects of using Zoom and other online streaming services in a church context. This resource also includes a step-by-step tutorial of how to use Zoom to its maximum potential. (file:///C:/Users/jessb/AppData/Local/Packages/microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps_8wekyb3d8bbwe/LocalState/Files/S0/10353/Attachments/Guide%20to%20Building%20Church%20Using%20Zoom%202.pdf)
A Real Beginners Guide to Using Zoom for the First Time
For information regarding what to expect and how to sign up to Zoom, see the following resource. http://www.dioceseofcoventry.org/images/document_library/UDR03157.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2zPM84XMIr5n4Pf3CBbB-qrLDa9q-dK2GrFyrbRYc4b9DdQWaGuNnlhDg
A Useful Idea for how to Encourage Congregational Worship Online through Zoom
For guidance about how to continue sung worship in the context of online services, this resource outlines a strategy for ‘muting’ individual participants, displaying song lyrics through Zoom’s ‘Screen Share’ feature, and using recordings of congregational singing in the background. https://www.evangelicalmagazine.com/article/what-we-learned-from-our-first-online-only-service/
Using Twilio if your Congregation doesn’t have Access to Broadband
This is a useful resource for accessing a step-by-step tutorial of Twilio, for those who wish to transmit services using telecommunication rather than broadband. https://www.switchedonnetwork.com/2020/03/18/coronavirus-create-a-phone-number-which-plays-podcasts-or-sermon-recordings-over-the-phone/, Paul Freeman-Powell
How to Set Up and Use Podcasts
For information regarding how to start and set up a podcast, see the links below for some examples.
Bob Jackson’s report offers a commentary on how the Church has responded to the challenges brought about by Covid 19, and includes suggestions as to how churches might plan for the post CV19 world where new ways of being church may continue to have an important and significant role to fulfil. Research and surveys on the effect of CV19 on ministry remain limited, but some are cited here along with useful good examples of good practice. The report also offers some good practical advice, and a selection of sample surveys which churches can utilise if they wish. It’s well worth a read. Everybody Welcome to the Future
This is great update to Bob Jackson’s ‘Everybody Welcome to the Future’ report. It is really practical with specific reference to Safeguarding, examples of good online practice, hosting PCC meetings and Zoom. It also contains several links to other useful sites. Highly recommended. Everybody Welcome Online