It is with regret that we have decided to follow the advice and close down all our meetings and groups from this time onwards. Whilst we are closing down the building for a time, we are not closing down church. As the community of Christ’s people, we will continue to be that, and we must all make every effort make to keep that sense of community through other avenues and continue to represent and glorify Christ in this world. Below are our plans…
The obvious question to ask is about Sundays. In place of normal gatherings, we will have one online service, of sorts. Each week, either myself, Brian, John or Mark, will film some of the usual elements of a service (prayers, readings and a sermon), and intersperse them with other people’s songs on a YouTube playlist. Please therefore subscribe to our YouTube channel.
You can watch YouTube on many devices. Smart TVs usually have a YouTube app, but also many other devices, such as tablets, phones and of course laptops, even if you don’t have the YouTube app, you can access it through your browser. However, you need to make sure you are on the playlist, so that all the videos run through successively. We will post a link to the playlist on social media. This will all be up and running by 9:30 on a Sunday morning. The downside to YouTube is that you may get adverts in between elements. This is unfortunate, but we feel it is still our best option.
What we want you do is gather in your households. Whether you’re on your own, or living with family, gather in front of your device, wherever possible as close to 11am as you can, and go through the service together. That’s so that we can keep the sense of gathered worship as much as we can, even though we are isolated from each other. By all means, leave comments on the videos and comments on social media to remind each other of our presence.
In addition to all this, I am intending on making occasional additional videos. These will be uploaded to my own YouTube channel as they will be of a more informal style. So you might want to subscribe to that channel as well.
For Life Groups, they won’t be meeting in person. But we encourage you to keep in touch with each other and pray for each other, through phone calls, texts, social media, etc. Some of you may even feel capable enough to use platforms like Zoom or Skype to meet online and see each other’s faces again.
Prayer Meetings will also be done via YouTube. Every Tuesday I will upload a video on the church YouTube account. This will be a private video (so we can share more specific prayer points) accessible only by those who have the link, which will be emailed out around 7:30pm on Tuesday night. That video will be an encouragement to pray and some things we can be specifically be praying for. Again, gather as close to that time in your households to go through that video. If you’d like to share a specific prayer request then please let me know.
Our Pastoral Care must obviously change. We certainly cannot do routine visits with those who are more vulnerable and others may want to keep their distance as well. So, the plan is to ring you every 2 or 3 weeks, to check in with all members and those who attend. If we don’t ring you, it may be because we haven’t got your number, so to avoid that give us a ring (our phone numbers are at the bottom). Please also make sure you are keeping in touch with each other and caring for one another.
For those who will be adversely affected by the virus, we want to help. For those unable to do shopping because of isolation, we are setting up a network of people in our church who are willing to help (let Brian know if you’d like to join that network or if you need some shopping doing). In addition, down the line, some of you may experience financial hardship as a result. Whilst the government is trying to put some strategies in place, they will only go so far. Please let us know if it will be impacting you. Like the church in Acts 4, we ought to be willing to share with those in need in our church.
Care for the Community
In addition, we want to care for the community around us as well. If you are aware of neighbours, friends, family or anyone else who might benefit from a chat on the phone, or some shopping done, again this will be undertaken by the network of people we are setting up. Feel free to put people in touch with Brian if you’re aware of anyone.
Please also remember that these are our plans for now. We’ve never faced this kind of thing before and like other churches we’re also still figuring out how best to navigate this. If we have to adapt how we’re doing things, we’ll let you know. Make sure you’re following on social media and sharing all our posts.
Finally! Be wise, do not fear, trust in the Lord, long for Jesus’ return, love our brothers and sisters and our neighbours, pursue God and resist the Devil! And we pray for his help in doing so.
Jonny: 07769 114 586
Brian: 07531 445 405