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Berwick St James Parish


Corona Virus - Latest Information Corona Virus - Latest Information

Dear All,

Update 3rd March 2020

I hope that you are all keeping well. Here is another update.

We had hoped to keep the number of E mail that we send out to a minimum but have found this challenging to do over recent weeks. This update will include a number of topics.

Buddy System

The Buddy system which was set up a couple of weeks ago seems to be working well. Please do contact either Christian (790 122) or Sarah (0790 212) or Sally (790252) should you need any help or if circumstances change.

Wiltshire Council Welfare Hub

The Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub has been put together by Wiltshire Council and is available to anyone who is struggling during this difficult time, such as people who are shielding or self-isolating and don’t have a support network around them or know where to get help. We hope that Berwick is doing relatively well at supporting itself  but understand that people may prefer to contact the council hub instead.

People can get in touch with the hub via email at wellbeinghub@wiltshire.gov.uk or by calling 0300 003 4576.  It’s available from 8am-8pm Monday-Friday and 10am-4pm Saturday and Sunday.

Village Book Club

We are forming a new Berwick Book Club, with the view of connecting residents with a love of literature. Understandably, we cannot meet to review the books over a glass of wine in the Reading Room (at the moment…) However, we will be organising the group review / deliberation to be carried out via a conference phone call or online visual.

The books can either be read or listed to on an audible basis.

If you are interested in joining this group, please do let us know ASAP? We already have 5 people keen to commence and are looking forward to developing this idea.

Please E mail bookclub@berwickstjames.org.uk 


The village Facebook Site “Carry On Berwick”  launched last week, now has a healthy 47 members and is filling with new content daily. There is a list of ‘Topics’ (eg: Informative, Village Meeting, Humour, Cultural, etc.. ) which provides easy access to what may interest you most.

We will be taking some extracts from this page to go into the Newsletter – which in turn will be delivered to all residents who are not online. Any contributions you post / share are both valued and appreciated. We have already seen some informative, useful and fun posts – plus village interactions, which are  keeping us connected at this challenging time.

For those who have not yet joined – please use the following link to connect:


If anyone needs any help in opening a Facebook Account to join – please do ask us! Looking forward to seeing you on there…..

Village ‘pub’ Quiz

Several people thought that it would be fun to try and do a ‘pub’ type quiz online using a similar system to that used for the village meeting. It could be complete chaos but could also be fun. We may do this on either a Thursday or Friday evening next week. More details to follow but please let us know if you have any ideas how this could be run.

E Mail from Cllr Kevin Daley

Yesterday we received a long and detailed E mail from Kevin Daley, our new councillor, which explains what the council  is doing. There is lots of interesting information contained in the E mail including issues relating to council TAX, Rubbish collection, business support etc.. I have attached a copy of this E mail under the name of Covid-19 update. 

Thanks to everybody

Apologies for sending out such a long update but thank you for getting to this bit. I must say that I am continually reminded as to how lucky we are to live in such a lovely, friendly and caring village. So many people have come forward to offer help for all sorts of things. Thank you to everybody for everything that you are doing to make it that bit easier to get through these difficult times.

All the best and stay well.

Christian Lange & Sarah Humphreys. 


Update 21st March 2020

It looks like the crisis is going to be with us for quite a long time, so we have been working to put a number of things in place to ensure things go as smoothly as possible. There is a lot to report on but I will try and keep this update as brief as possible. So here goes:

  • A C-19 plan has been developed for the village. It is a two page read and explains what we planning to do over the coming few weeks. The can be downloaded using one of the above links. It will continually be updated as things develop. Please do comment if you have suggestions.
  • The list of Buddy Groups has been changed to include everybody. This has been circulated by E  mail.
  • The Boot pub is looking into the possibility of providing take-away meals – details to follow.
  • A WhatsApp group is being set up – Please send us your mobile number if you would like to be included – This group is only to be used for coordination purpose and ‘chit-chat' to be avoided. 
  • A facebook page is being created – this is where fun things can be added and where people can chat etc.
  • A weekly newsletter is going to be created for the village – This will be printed off and delivered to those who do not have access to the internet/emails.
  • We now have 35 volunteers who are willing to help with a variety of things in the village. Most are now on the Webex video/telephone conferencing system.
  • We are looking to coordinate the collection of medication from local pharmacies. More details to follow.

The village meeting will be going ahead online on Thursday 26th March at 7pm online – People will be able to either use their electronic devices to join the meeting or simply phone in. Details to follow.

The Farm shop has proven to be extremely valuable for the village as Marilyn has started to deliver supplies to people in the village. Everybody at the shop is working extremely hard.   We need to protect Marilyn and other people working in the shop. If they become ill, we will lose the shop. In order to help please be aware that:

  • There should be no more than two people in the shop at any one time.
  • Please keep a distance of at least 2 to 3m at all times
  • Wash hand before you visit the shop and afterwards 

The medical advice is simple – These simple steps may well prevent infections and save lives.

In order to minimise contact with the farm shop staff, it would be helpful if you could phone your order  (Tel 01722 790490) or E mail in advance and give plenty of time.  The E  mail address is marilyn.wood163@gmail.com – E mails may only checked at the end of the day as Marilyn is so busy.

Advice is also being given to volunteers within the Buddy groups who are visiting people who they are supporting:

  • Wash your hands well before and after visiting someone
  • Maintain a distance of at least 2 meters at ALL times
  • Do not enter people’s houses unless absolutely necessary.

Many thanks

Christian Lange - Co Chair - Berwick St James village meeting.



Update 18th March 2020

Please see below a letter which has been prepared by Dr. Sally Hiscock who has been working to formalise ‘Buddy' groups within the village so that we can ensure that everybody within the village have the support they need. 

The people coordinating the support for the village are, Sallys Hiscock, Christian lange, Sarah Humphreys, Charlie Street, Bill Hiscocks and Andy Green. We are meeting again online this evening to develop the plans further. We then plan to publish the draft plan and we will be very open to suggestions as to how it can be improved. 

We are still hoping to hold the village meeting that was due to take place on 26th March but this will be online or by phone using the Webex system. We hope to be able to set up the system so that it can call landline numbers free of charge for those who want to be part of the meeting. More information on this to follow as we get used to the system.

Here is Sally’s letter:

Dear Resident,

In light of the Governments advice for anyone over the age of 70 yrs. to self isolate from this weekend for an indefinite period of time we as a community need a plan to support each other .

It is imperative that our residents aged 70 yrs. or above reduce their forays out of the village to a bare minimum to reduce their risk of contacting the illness.

Just to be clear anyone young or old may walk around the village as long as we respect each other’s personal space by a distance of 3 meters. Simply washing your hands after a walk in case you have touched a gate or other hard surface will suffice to keep the virus at bay.

Over the coming weeks we will need to escape from our homes for the sake of our Mental health and we are so lucky to live in Berwick St. James.

With all this in mind we have set up a system of “budding” that is allocating residents to small groups for mutual support. In most cases it has been a simple matter of formalising arrangements between neighbours, which already exist.

Currently the idea is for each small group to supply simple logistical help with shopping and prescription collection for each other. In the next few days and weeks this may be adapted depending on how the situation evolves. No one will be asked to give nursing or personal care to a neighbour.

Getting prepared now will reduce stress and worry later. Those over 70 yrs. could consider setting up online shopping or contacting Shrewton dairy on 01980 620 065 who will provide fresh milk, bread and other supplies. Berwick Farm shop on 01722 790 490 who are also willing to deliver to Berwick residents for order over £15.00.

This is the first step in the community management of the virus. In the coming weeks we will need to consider how to support those who go into complete isolation, these are likely to be the younger members of the community.

As the situation evolves we may be able to simplify the process e.g. the collecting of prescriptions Some people may like to register with PHARMACY 2 YOU who dispense prescriptions very efficient and do home delivery. Here is the link to their website: https://www.pharmacy2u.co.uk/  Tel 0113 265 0222

The situation is fluid but I am sure the Berwick St James residents will be both capable and adaptable to reduce the enormous impact this virus has imposed on all our lives.

Please see the attachment the list of  ‘Berwick Buddies’.

NB – The ‘Berwick Buddies’ list will NOT be placed on the village website but the above letter will.

Many thanks




Update 16 March 2020

Today we saw a significant announcement by the Prime Minister, which has added a sense of urgency to ensuring that volunteers are in place as soon as possible.  The volunteers also need to know how the system will work. For this reason a number of coordinators met (online) to develop the plan for the village. In brief, the following was agreed:

  • Dr. Sally Hiscocks will be making phone contact with all of those in the village who are not on the E mail system and/or those who may be advised by Government to self isolate. She may follow this up with a face-to-face visit at the door from a distance of at least 2 meters.
  • Christian will prepare a written update for people who are not on the email system. These will be hand delivered on Tuesday.
  • The Coordinators will meet again online on Wednesday evening to finalise the plan for the village – this will be continually developed as things progress.
  • We have started to use an online conference system called Webex. This will be used in the future for meetings etc. People can also call in using their normal landlines. We will start by asking the volunteers to get used to using this system. Christian will offer support where needed.
  • Christian will write to the group of volunteers with an update.

People who are self isolating need to be able to exercise and take walks. In order to ensure that they are safe and that they can take walks in confidence it is vital that we all avoid getting too close to people who are out walking. The ‘new normal’ and as a matter of courtesy people need to keep at least 3 or 4 meters away from people who they see out and about walking.

In the mean time you may like to know that the following food suppliers are willing to deliver:

Berwick Farm shop – Tel 01722 790 490

Shrewton Dairy – 01980 620 065

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions or suggestions as to how we can better support our residents.

Many thanks

Christian Lange – 01722 790 122 or 078 2525 3848

Sarah Humphreys – 01722 790212

E mail – chair@berwickstjames.org.uk


Update 15th March 2020

The Corona Virus is taking us into uncharted territory but what is clear is that we are in for a very challenging time. It is for this reason that our village website has been changed so that local Coronavirus information can be found very easily.

This page will keep you updated as to what we are doing as a village to ensure that we support each other during these difficult times. We will place local documents here but we do not aim to replace sites such as the NHS or Government websites, which provide up to date health and national updates.

One of the best aspects of our British Society is that we work together to support each other in times of crisis and I don’t think this will be an exception. We recently sent out an E-mail asking for a team of volunteers and in just two days we have over 30 people in the village willing to help. This represents about 30% of the village population which is truly outstanding!

Berwick is normally very good at providing help and support to those who need it. During this crisis it is important that we are well organised and that support is coordinated. It is possible that those who normally provide support to others become unable to do so. We want to ensure that everybody who needs help feels confident to ask for it and knows how to do this.

So.. what have we done so far and what are we planning to do?:

  • Call for volunteers as mentioned above to help with shopping, walking dogs etc.
  • A team of village coordinators are meeting on Wednesday to put together a plan for the village
  • Exploring ways to introduce a video-conference system that the whole village can use.
  • Started to list documents, which are relevant to us in Berwick or Wiltshire.

Marilyn has already volunteered to say that The Farm Shop will carry out free home deliveries for orders of over £15.00. 

Please watch this space for further updates. We aim to have a plan ready by Friday, which will provide the following information:

  • What the volunteers will do.
  • How will they be tasked and coordinated.
  • How people can request help.
  • How we will communicate with each other.
  • Anything else that we can think of that will help.

Whilst we are awaiting a further update do not hesitate to contact us with any comments or ideas for the village. We can be contacted by clicking on the following link.

Many thanks

Christian Lange & Sarah Humphreys

Co-Chairs Berwick Parish Meetings

Berwick St James

  • Village Hall (Reading Room)