Anglican health and mission agencies from across the Anglican Communion took part in a global consultation last week (16 March) to discuss their response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The consultation was organised by the Anglican Alliance, which helps to co-ordinate international Anglican responses to emergency situations. It has 12 years of experience in coordinating responses to individual emergencies; but has never had to face such a global emergency before.
“The Anglican Alliance is working intensively across the Communion to learn from effective church responses and share guidelines and resources on COVID-19”, the agency said on its website. “At the same time we remain working on other issues – disease, conflict, climate change and poverty – which continue to afflict many communities, who will be rendered even more vulnerable by this pandemic.”
The Alliance has published an online resource in English, Spanish and Portuguese, with links to some key resources and examples from different provinces. They stress that “each country situation is different and churches need to follow their own government’s guidelines. The examples and resources that we share from around the Communion must therefore be adapted to each context.”
The consultation bought together church leaders, representatives of Anglican development agencies, health and legal experts from almost every region of the Communion. In addition to publishing the key learnings and some examples of best practice, the Alliance is building up a repository of resources and Bible studies that can be adapted for different contexts.
“From the Church’s experience of responding to other emergency and epidemic situations, we know that there are three key roles the Church can play in such times to promote preparedness and resilience”, the Alliance said. “to give hope and combat fear with accurate information and encouragement through our faith; to keep the worshipping and wider community connected, if necessary via messages, phone and online, in case of quarantine and disruption; and to show God’s compassion and care to those affected in our communities, remembering that those already most vulnerable will be most affected.
“As the Church, we are called to be a voice of calm and reassurance, affirming that God is with us.”
The Anglican Alliance resource is available here in English, Spanish and Portuguese