During the lockdown from 5 November to 2 December, all HelpCentres in England were closed, except for private prayers, and we held a replacement schedule of services online. On 2 December we were delighted to reopen the HelpCentres and resume our normal schedule of services. You can access details via ‘The UCKG in England’ tab on the menu to the right of this text.
Our HelpCentres in Wales and Scotland are currently open for public services of prayer, while subject to national rules and guidance to contain transmission of the virus. You can access details for these nations respectively via ‘The UCKG in Wales’ and ‘The UCKG in Scotland’ tabs on the menu to the right of this text. Northern Ireland is undergoing a two-week lockdown from 27 November to 11 December, when our HelpCentres are only open for private prayers. You can access details via ‘The UCKG in Northern Ireland’ tab on the menu to the right of this text.
The 24-hour helpline on 020 7686 6000 is running normally and available for all.
Our track record
From the beginning of the pandemic, we worked hard to ensure that we followed government advice and did all we could to meet our obligations and minimise transmission of the virus.
Prior to the first, UK-wide, lockdown we encouraged everyone using the HelpCentres to improve and maintain good hygiene and observe social distancing. We provided hand gel at entrances, encouraged hand washing, and displayed helpful NHS posters.
Lockdown meant that prayer services at all HelpCentres in the UK were suspended and we introduced online services of prayer to give our congregations and the general public easy access to our support through prayer, inspirational stories and messages, and advice and guidance.
Events and group activities were cancelled. Our offices were closed, with only a handful of essential workers going in to produce our online services. They all observed social distancing and strict hygiene measures.
In due course we expanded the community outreach work of our soup kitchen project and opened new soup kitchens in a number of locations nationwide, to help those in need. We have been providing food to several hundreds of people every week.
As government permitted places of worship to open for private prayers, we granted access to individuals, households or ‘bubbles’ into our HelpCentres to pray briefly, while observing strict hygiene and social distancing measures.
Eventually, full time HelpCentres were allowed to reopen for public services of prayer, following national guidance. Before they did so our health and safety officer conducted full risk assessments for each location to determine how many people would be allowed in with social distancing. Robust cleaning schedules were introduced. Similar steps were taken at our offices so the workforce could return.
Most importantly, we continued to explore other means of spreading the word of God and supporting you all during this global crisis.