Further to the requests from both Government and Archbishops, all services and activities are suspended until further notice. It will not have been a decision they wanted to make and one that is both challenging and sad. Christian believers are to ‘submit to those in authority’ and so from washing hands to stopping services, we’re to follow their advice.
Before I let you know our plans here at Christ Church, let’s remind ourselves of what remains certain for all those in Christ, during what feels like very uncertain times:
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
It’s a good verse to commit to memory and draw upon regularly.
I wanted to let you know how we plan to, ‘not neglect meeting together’ (Heb 10.25) so that we can share news, prayers and encourage one another in God’s word. It will all feel quite different and less than ideal, so let’s see how things go.
Starting this Sunday, we will livestream a sermon with some questions to reflect upon. The hope will be the questions open up discussion online, within our small groups, perhaps also in walks outside whilst that’s still permitted.
Meantime, do plan to visit this website each Sunday at 10.30am to join the livestream and all being well, also see recommended family resources to use at home.
Midweek Small Groups
We’re encouraging a combination of online catch ups; open air meet ups when permitted; smaller sub group prayer and practical support especially to those in self-isolation. Group leaders will be in touch as to how best to make it happen for each group.
We recognise that the use of technology is a huge help in all this, whilst it can further isolate those who aren’t tech savvy - so we will we do our utmost to ensure nobody misses out.
Wider pastoral support
My prayer is that those in regular small groups will continue to love, serve and encourage one another in God’s word.
Each group has been assigned several others from the wider church family to look out for. If you have any concerns that someone is being overlooked or self-isolating without anybody knowing, please do let me know personally or via the contact details on this site.
We also hope to offer set times that the church building will be open, enabling both us and the general public to pop in, maintaining the recommended social distance guidelines.
The guidelines are changing every few days and we will adapt accordingly as we continue to love and serve one another, asking for help where we have need, offering help were we are able and being devoted to word and prayer.
Finally, let’s prayerfully demonstrate our confidence in Christ: stockpiling is selfish whilst followers of Christ are called to be selfless. We might share many of society’s fears and social isolation is miserable, but in Christ we are assured, “do not be afraid…. I am with you always to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28.10 & 20).
With His love,
18th March 2020
NHS 111 Corona guidance
Public Health England guidance