Helping Anglicans across the world sing from the same hymn-sheet about Covid-19
12th December 2020
briefing from WHO aims to spread messages based in “based in fact and science and not in fake news and misunderstanding.”
In December 2020 the emerging Anglican Communion Health and Community Network has been able to partner with the World Health Organisation to receive a comprehensive briefing on the current state of the pandemic, of vaccines, also touching on justice issues relating to the pandemic which are of such concern to Christians in seeing how the pandemic is affecting those in rich and poor countries.
The Anglican Communion Health and Community Network is being convened this this year, enabled by Dr Michael Beasley, the Bishop of Hertford with input from the Anglican Alliance and is awaiting formal approval by the Anglican Consultative Council’s Standing Committee.
The creation of the network reflects the deep engagement with health care and health education of Anglican churches across the world and the churches role in many communities as trusted channels of information and understanding.
Bishop Michael introduces the briefing, which is given by Dr Sylvie Briand, Director of the Pandemic and Epidemic Diseases Department at the World Health Organization. Dr Briand led the Global Influenza Programme during the 2009 swine flu pandemic.
As well as the interest of churches in justice issues, Bishop Michael describes the role of church members in being trusted communicators of good messages about Covid, “based in fact and science and not in fake news and misunderstanding.”
Bishop Michael describes Dr Briand’s presentation as an “in-depth exposition of what is going on.”
In her introduction, Dr Briand speaks of the opportunity to brief the Health and Community Network on Covid-19 as a “privilege” and an “…opportunity for a more cohesive understanding and to reduce the feeling that we are in a Tower of Babel.”
Bishop Michael is has previously worked on an on-the-ground initiative in the Democratic Republic of Congo as local communities responded to the Ebola outbreak and trusted key health information was in short supply. He was previously an epidemiologist at Imperial College, London.
The briefing was previously shown to Anglican Primates at their November meeting where they called for a just and equitable distribution of Covid -19 vaccines.