More than 500 people aged over 80 have been identified by Croydon churches to be vaccinated against Covid-19 in the space of just a few days.
Revd Andy Dovey, Lead for Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care at the local hospital, reached out to contacts within the churches in Croydon and was able to engage with the community to identify those over 80.
"The response has been amazing! I am really grateful to the community of churches that have pulled together to support our congregations in these difficult times," Andy said.
Churches from across Croydon contacted people in their congregations who were over 80. They asked if they wanted the vaccine and those who did gave permission to forward their details to Revd Andy who sent them on to the hospital COVID team to book appointments.
The Bishop of Croydon, The Rt Revd Jonathan Clark, said: "I am delighted that we have been able to mobilise the churches in this way. Many of our parishioners are over 80 and vulnerable. This vaccine will make a huge difference in their lives."
Mobilising the churches in such a way is unprecedented, according to The Diocese of Southwark.
Revd Andy said the success was thanks to the excellent partnership enjoyed by all the churches in the area under the banner of the ecumenical movement Churches Together in Croydon. He also pointed to the close-knit community of interfaith relations.
"The Church is much more than just church attendance, it is about being disciples in the community and providing God's grace to people in their hour of most desperate need," he added.