MINCE PIE COMPETITION FOR XMAS

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REMINDER

  •  Mince pie competition amongst residents of Lowick, Fenwick and Bowsden
  •  Christmas hamper to be awarded to the maker of the best pie from each village
  •  One pie to be submitted per person with entries delivered to the Lowick village
    shop (permission to be obtained)
  •  Entries to be accompanied by a sticker on a cocktail stick piercing the pie, giving
    name, telephone number and village of entrant
  •  Judging criteria: pastry – crispness, buttery taste, doesn’t fall to pieces;
    mincemeat – full flavour, plenty of fruit, mouth-feel; with 5 points for pastry and 5
    points for filling
  •  Timing: all entries to the shop by 12 noon on Monday 7 December; judging to
    happen that evening at the shop (tbc with shop and judges)

Lowick Church Services Starting

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SUNDAY 13TH DECEMBER 10.00am

REV CANON ALAN HUGHES

 

CHRISTMAS DAY 9.00am

REV MARION PENFOLD

MP ANSWERS COVID QUESTIONS ON TIER 3 IN NORTH NORTHUMBERLAND

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Covid-19 latest news
There has been a lot of news this week, so I am going to limit this email to addressing the news that Northumberland will be in tier 3 from next Wednesday.

My website is up to date on the news from earlier in the week, including on vaccines, an overview of the tier system, the route to normality, the covid winter plan, Christmas bubbles and an expansion to the criteria for support bubbles which I know will make a huge difference to families with young babies. 

You can find all that HERE.


What is tier 3, what does it mean for us?

Tier 3 means you cannot mix socially with anyone outside your household or bubble, including in a private garden.  Socialising in a public open space is limited to 6 people.  Pubs and restaurants may only serve takeaway customers, and accommodation providers (hotels, B&Bs etc) may only open to those who need to stay in them for the reasons presently exempted under the current national restrictions. You can find that list HERE at the end of page 20.Places of worship may open, outdoor attractions may open, outdoor sports and exercise classes may resume. Non-essential shops can open from Wednesday, and weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on numbers.  Residents in Tier 3 should only travel outside the area for work, education, health or other essential reasons.The primary difference between tiers 2 and 3 is the closure of hospitality venues to non-takeaway customers. The full outline of Tier 3 is HERE.  

Support for businesses

Unlike Tier 2, businesses in Tier 3 are able to apply for additional financial support.  The Chancellor has announced additional funding to support cash grants of up to £2,100 per month primarily for businesses in the hospitality, accommodation and leisure sector who may be adversely impacted by the restrictions in high-alert level areas. These grants are available to businesses in England, including hotels, restaurants, B&Bs and many more who aren’t legally required to close but have been adversely affected by local restrictions nonetheless.The CRJS (furlough) scheme is open until the end of March and pays up to 80% staff wages, and the self-employment scheme is also open for a third round from Monday.  Full details available HERE.

Access to mass testing

The recent pilot in Liverpool of mass testing of residents, even if they have no symptoms, has been a huge success.  Over 125,000 were tested, and among them 1,200 positive cases were found in people with no symptoms. The ability to isolate positive cases when people are asymptomatic, has helped bring the infection rate down in Liverpool at such a pace that Liverpool is to be placed in Tier 2. This system is being rolled out to all areas in Tier 3, with the help of the military.  It is my hope that this will really help Northumberland get infection rates down even faster. 

Why is Northumberland in Tier 3?

I am still being asked this, with many thinking we have been “lumped in” with the rest of the north east.  Whilst the Council did originally ask to be included in the LA7 area, Northumberland would be in Tier 3 on its own merit based on the present figures.As set out by the government on Monday the criteria for determining the tier level of each local authority is as follows:a. Case detection rates in all age groups;b. Case detection rates in the over 60s;c. The rate at which cases are rising or falling;d. Positivity rate (the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken); ande. Pressure on the NHS, including current and projected occupancy. Those who have been watching the Northumberland figures will know they remain very high, although the rate of new infections has started to fall. You can explore them further HERE.I also receive emails from those who believe there are low numbers in the north of Northumberland.  Again, sadly not the case, although rates in the south of the county are higher.  More from me on why we have to have restrictions can be found HERE.Covid cases are increasing in our hospital at Cramlington. Regardless of where in Northumberland we live, we all rely on critical care beds being available in Cramlington should we need it. I want there to be a bed for any of us or our family members should we need one.  Each week I receive an update from the Trust with the updated figures and the numbers continue to rise.  As of Friday 20th November Northumberland had 138 patients hospitalised with Covid, 17 of whom are in critical care beds. That is 138 beds which cannot be used for cancer care, or hip operations. That is 17 critical care beds that cannot be used by stroke patients or the victims of serious road traffic accidents. We must continue to get the numbers down, not least as we head towards the winter period with all the pressures that places on the NHS.

 How can we get out of Tier 3?

If you chart the infection rates in the county, they are heading in the right direction. The Health Secretary announced today, that today’s decision will be reviewed in two weeks. I think there will be a strong case to make if we can get our numbers down, for Northumberland to be treated separately from the rest of the region. However, I cannot make that case unless our numbers continue to fall.I am still receiving reports of people locally being fined because they ignored a test and trace directive and went to work, putting others at risk.  There are still outbreaks across my constituency in north Northumberland.  We must all follow the rules in place to keep us all safe.  If you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace you must self-isolate. There is financial support available for those on low incomes (details HERE). There is support available for everyday tasks such as shopping and collecting prescriptions which you can read more about HERE. We are very much on the home stretch of this pandemic and the limitations it places on our lives. We have three vaccines which have been proven effective and await approval from the regulator. The NHS is gearing up to ensure they can be distributed quickly and effectively with the most at risk at the top of the list. Mass testing capacity has sky-rocketed enabling us the chance to return to closer to normal even before the vaccines are rolled out.  We must do all we can to help suppress this virus whilst these measures are put in place, and to protect the NHS through its most difficult months.  I want it to continue to be there for all of us and our families should we need it, so we must all play our part. The more we follow the rules, the quicker we can return to normal. ************************************************************************

I want to be able to make the case to my colleagues in Government that Northumberland should be moved down to Tier 2. Please help me do that by continuing to follow the rules to suppress this virus.

My team remain on hand to help those who need it, particularly in accessing the help available.

Best wishes

Anne-Marie Trevelyan

NEW MINISTER APPOINTED

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The Bishop of Newcastle, together with Lord Joicey and Durham Cathedral Chapter as patrons, is delighted to announce that the Rev’d Charlotte Osborn, previously Assistant Curate in the Oakham Team Ministry in Peterborough Diocese, is to be Priest in Charge of Ford and Etal, and Lowick with Kyloe, and Ancroft. Charlotte will be licensed by Bishop Christine in the New Year on a date to be announced as soon as possible. 

Charlotte says, ‘I am very much looking forward to returning to the north east, and to exploring with you the challenge and adventure of being a church in these very different times in which we find ourselves. I thank you for your prayers and assure you of mine as together we prepare for this new phase of ministry’. 

Bishop Christine adds: ‘Please keep Charlotte, her husband Leo and all the parishes in your prayers as she prepares for this new ministry.’

The parishes of Lowick, Ford & Etal and Ancroft have been without a minister in charge for two years, since the Rev’d Victor Dickinson retired. 

REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY

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There will be an Act of Remembrance at the War Memorial at 2.00 pm on November 8th. This will take place under the guidelines published by HM Government, reproduced below.

Please note that you may attend as a “Passer By”, so long as you observe social distancing rules with people not in your household or bubble.

We have to make all reasonable steps to record attendance. If you are at the service, you could e-mail us below, so we have a contact tracing record if required. These will be deleted in 21 days.

 

ADVICE FROM GOVERNMENT

What can a Remembrance Sunday event involve?

The Remembrance Sunday event at the National Cenotaph will be adjusted this year to ensure the event is as safe as possible. Local events should be adapted to reflect the same principles. They should:

  • be outdoors, as transmission risks are significantly reduced
  • be short and focussed on wreath laying, with a reduced march past or parade only if social distancing can be maintained
  • take advantage of opportunities for wreath layers to represent wider groups
  • any small, military bands should observe social distancing. Buglers can perform outdoors at Remembrance Sunday events.
  • keep numbers to a minimum, focussing attendance on those wishing to lay wreaths (more information on who can attend below)
  • take reasonable steps to minimise wider public viewing. The public can only attend the event with their own household or those in their support bubble, or individually with one other person from outside their household.
  • observe social distancing at all times

Limited communal singing, involving the national anthem and one additional song, is permitted outside for Remembrance Sunday, if additional mitigations are put in place. Steps that will need to be taken are:

  • communal singing must be outdoors only
  • songs should be a few minutes or less
  • there should be 2 metres between attendees
  • any surrounding surfaces that are touched should be regularly cleaned
  • there must be very clear rules about non-attendance of the symptomatic, those who are isolating as close contacts of a case or who has been advised to do so by NHS Test & Trace and those quarantining
  • all relevant rules on gatherings are to be followed
  • consideration should be given to the vulnerability of some individuals

Who can attend a Remembrance Sunday event?

Event organisers should keep numbers of those participating in the event to a minimum. For the avoidance of doubt, the following people are legally permitted to attend events to commemorate Remembrance Sunday as participants. Attendees should observe social distancing at all times. Attendees should also take advantage of opportunities for wreath layers to represent wider groups.

  • people attending as part of their work (such as local councillors, local faith leaders, the local MP)
  • people attending in a voluntary capacity on behalf of a recognised organisation
  • members of the armed forces
  • veterans of the armed forces, and/or their representatives or carers

Members of the public are legally permitted to stop and watch the event as spectators, but event organisers should take reasonable steps to discourage the public from attending events, and be mindful of the risk that such events pose, especially to veterans who are often elderly.

Where members of the public do attend, they must only attend the event with their own household or those in their support bubble, or one other person (children under school age, as well as those dependent on round-the-clock care, such as those with severe disabilities, who are with their parents will not count towards the limit on 2 people meeting outside) and observe social distancing rules.

Event organisers should review the updated guidance on the clinically extremely vulnerable, and ensure this is taken into account when planning events.

Test and Trace

Event organisers must take reasonable steps to record the contact details of those attending (including those present in a working capacity, and members of the public who stop to spectate).

Event organisers must keep a temporary record of attendees for 21 days, in a way that is manageable, and assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed. This could help contain clusters or outbreaks. Further detail can be found in the current Test and Trace guidance.

Those responsible for organising events, and businesses working on an event site, must also keep records of staff working patterns for a period of 21 days.

Many organisations already have systems for recording their attendees. You can find details of how to maintain records.

There is also an NHS App which can be used to log in attendees.

It should be noted that those found not to be compliant with these regulations may be subject to financial penalties.

Please note the legal requirement on recording contact details does not extend to places of worship, however it is strongly advised that recording is put in place where possible.

Communal worship

Remembrance Sunday services are traditionally part of communal worship. From 5 November, places of worship are not permitted to open for communal worship. Celebrants may, however, enter places of worship to broadcast services to their communities and will be able to incorporate Remembrance services as part of this when they do so.