22/05/2020

LDBF start planning to build back our services

We will be taking our next steps to manage working in a vastly changed world.

LDBF Staff led by Assistant Diocesan Secretary Stuart Haynes have started the process of planning to build back our services.

Like every parish, LDBF staff from St James House were asked to adapt to new circumstances. We responded in three ways. A large number of staff were furloughed as we used the availability of the Government’s Job Retention Scheme to support our finances. The rest started working from home as we focused on maintaining a core set of services. And senior staff offered to sacrifice some of their salary.

Stuart Haynes said “as the country sees restrictions ease and schools and churches prepare to re-open in a different way we are starting to consider how we build back our operations. We need to do this in stages and we are mindful that as in parishes you start to rebuild your need for support and advice may change and increase. We want to have the right people in place to do this.”

At present those staff we have furloughed will stay furloughed until the end of June. We will review how and when we bring staff back. Some of this is based on what we are needing to do. The work of the LDBF is to support schools, parishes, chaplaincies and fresh expressions. Currently we are providing a more basic service on reduced staff and many things take longer to do.

As we start to build back we think we need to focus on three areas:
  • Providing information and advice on the safe reopening and working of church buildings and schools
  • Supporting attempts to rebuild finances
  • Helping encourage the growth of congregations and worshipping communities in the context of the Rule of Life
Commenting on that focus Stuart Haynes said “We would like to know whether we have made the right assumptions or if there is anything specific you think we should focus on. We can’t do everything but we want to do the right things, the things that will make the most difference to you.“

So he is asking you to send your thoughts to his email Stuart.haynes@liverpool.anglican.org

Stuart added “We remain committed to you and to working to support you. We remain committed to be honest about what we can achieve and how we will achieve it. We remain committed to being flexible and agile in the way we work to be able to deliver the best possible service in constantly changing times.”
 
About St James House
LDBF staff will remain working remotely from St James House for the foreseeable future. This is following the advice of the government. We have learned a lot about remote working and we continue to look at how we can best maintain operations. We are looking at the guidance about what we need to do to reopen the building safely but do not intend to rush into this.
 
Keeping you informed and consulted with
Life is uncertain at the moment and we remain unsure about how things will shape up. Much depends on factors we can’t control. So at this point we can’t give many details. But we will aim to keep you informed about, and consulted over, our plans to build back our services to support you.
 
Our current commitment to you
With slimmed down teams we can’t offer the same level of services to you but during this period we will be doing the following

Safeguarding
Maintaining our support for victims and the monitoring of offenders including the management of existing and new cases.
Information about safer recruitment DBS and remote assessing of any blemished DBS
Provide support and advice for parishes


Communications
Maintain a slimmed version of the Bulletin on a weekly basis
Provide updates and information to parishes
Maintain the www.liverpool.anglican.org/coronavirus webpages
Maintain our social media profile and links to the media
Provide support and advice for parishes

Clergy Housing
Continue an emergency repair service
Continue the statutory gas maintenance checks
Manage our rented stock
Help with the development of our property portfolio
Advise parishes on asset deals

DAC
We are not expecting any faculty applications at this time. If this is something you are considering then talk to your Archdeacon before doing anything.

Central services
Monitor general enquiries and find the right person to help
Provide support for and process DBS applications

Finance and project management
The finance team will continue to conduct the full range of its work. Limited access to St James’ House and remote working systems may result in query response delays in some instances
Financial and Project Management support to SDF projects


Stewardship
Maintain the Gift Aid System
Support parishes around new ways to give and addressing financial challenges
Support the Parish Giving Scheme

Lifelong Learning
Continuing to support students through the Director of Studies at All Saints
Curacy planning and placements
Clergy support and advice

Vocations/LifeCall
Continue the local and national discernment processes for ordained and Reader ministry (working with candidates via phone and online platforms)
Support and maintain contact with our ordinands in training locally and across the country
Continue work on setting up curacies for 2020 and 2021

Education
Continuing to support our schools and the new hubs.