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Loving our neighbours during the coronavirus pandemic

What can we do?

For updates on church meetings, in person and online, see What's On.

For our current daily video messages, please see our Latest Talks page (or go straight to Erik Pattison's YouTube playlists).

During the peak of this pandemic, we recognised that for a time we should not be meeting up in person – it was wiser and more loving to avoid this, to reduce the risks of catching or passing on the virus. As of July 2020 some of us are once again meeting in person, with the usual precautions as in other public places. We also have meetings online for the benefit of people who are "shielding". 

Even during the full lockdown we recognised that we still have obligations to our families and to our neighbours, so we posted the suggestions below. These may yet be helpful.


Staying in touch during isolation

Here is a BBC guide on making video calls to your family.

The Childhood Bereavement Network has advice on staying connected when someone is seriously ill, and on supporting children and young people who are bereaved during this outbreak. 


If you need help

You can register yourself or register another person as needing help e.g. with deliveries of food, using this Government form.

If you live near the Lighthouse building, contact us, so we can either help you directly or pass on your details to other local volunteers.

To contact Neighbours in Poplar, ring 020 7987 0257 – they can help with shopping, delivering meals, or just a friendly phone call.

You can also send a message to the administrators of a local support group – see below.

If you are in an abusive relationship at home, help is available – this GOV.UK page suggests several places where you can find support.

Beware of scams! See Action Fraud's advice page.


Mutual aid networks

There is a Facebook group for Tower Hamlets Covid19 Community Support. If you are in need yourself, do not send your details in messages to the whole group, but contact the administrators directly.

From that group you can join a more local WhatsApp group. If you're not on Facebook, contact Neville Reid so that with permission we can put you in touch with the relevant group.

If you live elsewhere, start from Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK.


Starting at home

If you live in a ​block of flats, talk to the caretakers or concierges about who needs help – some will be aware of residents in need.

Newsagents, corner shops and postal workers often know who is unwell or having trouble.

If there is a communal noticeboard where you live, place a simple note offering help. Even if someone is stuck indoors it will be seen by friends, relatives or neighbours.

Some people are even putting notes though their neighbours' doors (like this}. If you are planning to do this this, first think carefully about whether you want to publish your contact details.


Other charities

If you are in Poplar, you can volunteer with Neighbours In Poplar.

Your local branch of Age UK will probably be able to suggest people in need of your help: Age UK

Food banks need support more than ever – volunteering, donating food or money:

Bow Food Bank

First Love Foundation (Poplar)


Links with more info

Tower Hamlets Council (our local authority)

Poplar HARCA (social housing landlord for many homes near the church building)

• NHS 

• UK Government