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Faraday Churches is here to help you and your church understand the science of COVID-19 and think about how you can process and respond to the impact of the pandemic on all of our lives. We have identified reliable sources of information that can help you learn more and stay up to date. Alongside news and links to more general scientific information and advice, some specifically Christian resources will help you think through the theological issues and continue to worship and grow in faith during this difficult time.

 

News

How is the Church Coping: Can you tell your story?

Research is underway at the Faraday Institute, exploring how Christians in particular are coping under the pandemic’s conditions, especially when it comes to their experience of things such as fear, anger and hope. An important part of the project will involve conducting in-depth interviews with volunteer participants. Further details here.

Vaccine update, 10th November 2020

The announcement about the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine is encouraging, because it is the first effective vaccine to be reported for COVID-19.

This news has been greeted by the scientific community with cautious optimism, for several reasons:

  • The phase 3 trial has not yet been completed for this vaccine.
  • We don’t yet know how long the immunity it gives may last.
  • We don’t yet know whether it will help prevent the most severe cases, be effective in the elderly, or stop transmission of the virus.
  • This vaccine is made of RNA, which is a bit like DNA but much more fragile. Keeping it at -70C will be a challenge.
  • We will need to keep up all the current measures to slow the spread of transmission for many months to come.

It’s very important that other vaccine trials can continue and that people are willing to keep taking part in them. Some other vaccines may be better than this one, and we may also need a variety of vaccines for different strains of the virus.

COVID and Creation Care

It is fairly clear that COVID-19 is not a ‘natural disaster’. The most plausible explanation is that a virus from the horseshoe bat found its way into the human population, possibly via another animal. This is not an isolated incident. Transfer of viruses from animals to humans is occurring with increasing frequency. This has political, environmental and theological implications. Christians are called upon to tend and keep creation, as well as caring for each other. But both greed and poverty are causing people to destroy natural habitats, bringing human populations and their livestock into closer contact with other species, and making virus transfer much more likely to happen. Explore a Christian response to this issue with theologian and environmentalist Ruth Valerio.

 

Resources

A Christian Response

Four brief articles from Faraday Churches on prayer, suffering and lament

Lecture and articles from The Faraday Institute

Theological resources from Tearfund, including Bible study and prayer

Resources from Equipping Christian Leadership in an Age of Science, Durham

The latest news, information and prayer from the Evangelical Alliance

Coming soon: Revd Dr Roger Abbott & Prof Bob White, What Good is God? Crises, faith and resilience (Lion Hudson), £9.99, 208 pages.

 

General information

Video: A basic introduction: what the COVID-19 virus is, how it is spread and how to prevent transmission.

Video: What is a virus?

Article: What’s the difference between viruses and bacteria?

Info: The origin of the COVID-19 virus is linked to ecosystem degradation.

Article: Not all viruses are harmful: meet the friendly viruses.

Info: COVID-19 questions answered, by New Scientist magazine.

Info: NHS advice on treating coronavirus symptoms at home, and self-isolation.

Info: UK government advice and support.

Info: Advice from the WHO, including mythbusters and Q&A, regularly updated, with downloadable infographics.

Light relief: ‘Can you save the world?’ COVID game.

 

Want more detail? Sources of up-to-date and clearly explained science

Daily updates from The New Scientist.

Regular updates from the COVID symptom study of over 4.3 million people in the UK, by King’s College London.

The Science Media Centre – the sources your journalists are (hopefully) reading.

 

Faraday Churches COVID response resource section

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