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Latest Coronavirus Update (11 June 2020)

11th June 2020 – Message from Revd Graham Sparkes – Luther King House President

Dear Friends

Here at Luther King House our primary focus continues to be on supporting our learning community through to the end of the current academic year. Many of us continue to face enormous challenges as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, but we are finding good ways of helping each other through to completion.

At the same time, our thoughts have begun to turn towards the next academic year beginning in September. Following very careful discussion our staff team have made a number of decisions, and we hope that these will enable us to prepare creatively for the months ahead. Let me share these with you.

  • We have decided that for 2020-21 we must expect that all our teaching will need to be online. This gives all of us clarity as we approach the next 12 months and will enable us to prepare as well as possible for this changed environment, even though we will always keep the situation under review. It also means that our learning will be open to those who might not be able to study in Manchester.
  • But at the same time, we will provide opportunities for students to have tutorials face to face in safe environments for additional help and support with their studies. We can do this because we are a small college. No one need fear that they will be left to study alone. Our staff will invest time in ensuring that personal study support will be there when needed.
  • In addition, particular assistance will be provided for any students who might be disadvantaged by online learning. This might, for example, be in the form of a dedicated study area on site with IT and equipment provided. We will try to ensure that everyone is given as much help as they need.
  • Though none of us can anticipate how the next year will proceed, we are making plans that will enable all our learning community to access library resources and to share in college and community gatherings. Some of these gatherings will be online. Others may well be able to take place face to face when small groups are involved. We believe we can continue to benefit from our sense of togetherness during the months ahead.

We look forward with hope and faith to the ending of this year and the beginning of the next! Please know that we are open to applications to study here beginning in September 2020. We can offer the best of online learning in small groups, together with personal face to face support for all those who would be helped by this. Our website provides you with details of all our courses and how to apply – and don’t hesitate to be in touch if you want to know more.

With every blessing.

Graham Sparkes

President

Latest Coronavirus Update (9 April 2020)

9th April 2020 – Message from Revd Graham Sparkes – Luther King House President

Dear Friends

Along with so many other organizations and institutions, Luther King House has been responding to the crisis caused by Covid-19. We want to update our wider friends and contacts on what has been happening at LKH, and to assure you of our ongoing commitment to providing learning and support for those preparing for ministry and mission within churches and communities.

Once the government announced its decision to impose a lockdown, LKH immediately took a number of actions:

  • We began the process of closing our hotel and conference business. This took a few days as we were providing accommodation for people either working in the NHS or undergoing treatment at one of the local hospitals, and we wanted to ensure they did not need us before we finally closed our doors.
  • We made arrangements to fully protect the wages of all those employed at LKH, particularly those who are most vulnerable to a loss of income. Our hope is to continue to be able to support staff in this way throughout the crisis.
  • We began to move all our teaching and learning online, and academic staff are using the study break over Easter to gain the necessary knowledge and expertise so as to be able to teach as effectively as possible within this changed environment.
  • We closed our library to readers. Yet at the same time, our librarian has continued to ensure that any books and resources requested have been sent by post to the members of our learning community so that reading and study can continue.
  • We had to cancel many special events and lectures that had been planned for the weeks ahead. This was a considerable disappointment as we had been looking forward to several significant occasions in our life together – but we are hopeful that at least some of the cancellations will prove to be only postponements.

The situation continues to present us with many challenges as we work out the ongoing implications for our patterns of learning for the rest of the academic year. Our priority will be to provide our learning community with all the support and help they need to be able to continue and complete their programmes of study.

One thing we do want to make clear. LKH remains open! Very importantly, we are open to applications to study here beginning in September 2020, and if you want to explore the opportunities we offer to learn in a supportive environment – one that will deepen and enrich your faith and equip you for ministry and mission – then do get in touch with us. We would be delighted to hear from you. Our website provides you with details of current courses and there will be further new opportunities for study appearing shortly, so do contact us for a conversation.

In the midst of considerable uncertainty, we continue to trust ourselves to God’s strength and care, and pray that Easter’s joy and hope will carry us on into the future.

Take care and stay safe.

Graham Sparkes

President

Latest Coronavirus Update (17 March 2020)

17th March 2020 – Message from Revd Graham Sparkes – Luther King House President

As you will be aware, the government issued new advice about coronavirus (Covid-19) yesterday evening. As a result LKH has taken the decision to suspend all face-to-face teaching immediately and to transition to patterns of online learning. This is in line with the decisions made by the University of Manchester this morning.

Our plan is to use the planned teaching sessions next week to continue our learning, and it will be the responsibility of tutors to indicate how this will take place. Tomorrow’s teaching sessions will also be covered online, but inevitably these have not been organized in advance so please check the relevant Moodle spaces and your emails for guidance. We then have the Easter break before teaching is due to recommence from 20 April onwards.

The front page of our Moodle site will provide regular news and updates, and we will let you know of any major developments that take place. Unless they are unwell, all tutors can be contacted by email in the normal way and should be able to respond to questions and concerns. Please also note that the library continues to remain open for use.

It would also helpful for you to be aware that the Whitley Lecture (23rd March) and Research Training (19th March) have also been cancelled.

Though we will not be together as a community for the foreseeable future, let us hold each other in our love and prayers. May God’s peace and healing presence be with us all, and with those for whom we care.