Update from the Leaders

Hello everybody. Since our last update on Tuesday we have been starting to explore ways that we can continue to interact with each other as a fellowship using the internet. This is a developing journey and I am sure that you will all come up with some great ideas to communicate and spend time together as we become more used to this new way of life.

We want us all to be able to communicate and share as easily and effectively as possible and certainly as a leadership team we will be communicating across the fellowship using the church Facebook group, the Prayer Chain distribution list and the website. This should allow us to reach pretty much all of our community, but we know not everyone uses the internet, so we ask that if you know that someone doesn’t have access, please can you keep them up to date with any activities taking place.

Although we can’t meet face to face, we are looking at ways to continue as many of our group activities as possible. This will include times of live teaching/preaching streaming through our church Facebook page, group bible studies using a video meeting tool called Zoom and providing teaching and worship resources through our website. You won’t have time to get stir crazy at home.

Bible study will begin next week using the internet. At the moment there are a number of bible study groups over the week, as we start this journey, we plan to only have one group until we all get used to the idea, then you will be able to create other groups, for any group activity, as you wish. This first bible study will be on Tuesday evening at 7:00. If you are not able to attend the live discussion you will be able to watch a re-run on demand. Details of how to join the discussion will be communicated nearer the time, it won’t require any special skills, just access to a phone, tablet or computer. We are really looking forward to seeing how this will work.

Remember that if you do have access the Facebook page is a fantastic place to share things with each other as an example, Shirley has been posting some very positive and uplifting messages on there along with others posting prayers and stories that have been shared with them.

Finally, we would like to bring to everyone’s attention the National Day of Prayer about Coronavirus on Sunday 22nd and light a candle and display it at 7:00 in the evening. More information is available in the following Church Times article and link to Churches Together:

https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/…/day-of-prayer-and-action-li…

https://www.cte.org.uk/…/N…/Latest_news/Light_a_candle.aspx…

Stay safe. God Bless

The Leadership Team

The leaders are meeting again tonight to try and plan our way forward.
Please keep an eye on this page for more updates after this meeting.
My contact information is in the next section if you want to talk.
The other leaders infromation is on the back of the sunday information sheets.
Again let me know if you want any other leaders contact information.
We have been keeping an eye on the offical guidance of the baptist union, Rural ministries and also what other Churches are deciding to do. We are all in the same boat, and making the same descisions. We all want to keep our precious family safe. We have plans coming together and will be in a better position to share after our meeting tonight.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you all now.
Wishing you all Gods blessings today.
Tony.

The leaders met on Monday 16th March after the governments update to discuss how this would affect our Church family and what do we need to do and plan for now. With heavy hearts we have decided, for now, we should suspend services and meetings not only because the government have asked, which the bible does tell us we must follow as much as possible, but also to protect our dear members.

Up until this week, I had thought that this was another media scare story with no substance behind it, so I didn't think it would come to anything. Over the last 3 or 4 days I have been researching and listening to the testimony of people in other countries about how the situation if affecting them and what their countries are doing. More than that I have been listening to what the doctors and nurses have managed to get out from Italy who are on the front line, and from what they have been saying, the situation is worse than we are led to believe.

With this in mind, my concern, and that of the leaders is that we should expose as few members of our congregation as possible to any kind of risk, bearing in mind that this will only be for a short time. Given maybe 3/4 of our congregation is in medium to high risk categories due to health / operations / treatment or other situations we are really concerned for them, and want to protect and help them as much as possible. We are family together, and care for each other.

This was a really hard decision for us to swallow, but given it is for a short period of time, and hopefully it will be for the full benefit of the congregation we love and care for.

Watching how this virus has been dealt with in China by taking hard decisions to isolate as quickly as possible to stop any spread, the virus struck in their holidays at the end of January,  and now, 6 weeks later, life is beginning to return to normal.
This gives us hope that maybe in 8 weeks or so we should be able to start getting back to normal.

I work with people from several other countries, and have friends in other countries and can see we are far from alone in taking these steps. In the Czech republic, work and shopping are the only reasons you are now allowed out, which came into effect last weekend. America has declared a state of emergency, Italy have curfews, The French are only allowed out shopping, Spain is not long behind Italy, and we are 3.5 weeks behind Italy. On Sunday in Italy, there were 368 deaths in 1 day alone, with 1800 deaths so far. This is far more than flue would have affected in the same time scale.

From my perspective it makes a lot of sense to be as careful as we can during this season. I wanted to share this information with you so that you know that the leaders didn't take this decision based off the news paper headlines, but from as much information as we could see.

This is now a time for us all to pull together.
We as leaders are still available for all of our family, we want to stay in touch, and help where we can. We are looking into ways we can keep in touch with each other, to share as much as we can, and to help where we can.
If you want to speak to any of the leaders, please drop me a text, phone call or skype on:
Tony:
Mobile: 07958 271819
skype: tjbarny
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We as leaders are trying to work out what things we can put in place to provide as much of Church as we can without the contact, so please will you bear with us, and keep an eye on this website.

We know this will be an un-popular decision, and we are sorry, but please will you be gentle and graceful with us, we are trying to do the best we can in very strange and uncharted times.

If you have any ideas or suggestions, we would love to hear from you.
Please could you spread this message so all of our family know what is happening, and remind them that the website will be where we post updates for our Church Family.

One last comment.
Lets have faith in Jesus, that we will all come through this together and well.
Lets not have fear in these times, but faith.
Lets keep praying for our congregation, our Church and our families, and have faith in our prayers.
Lets try and shine through this tough time, that those around us have to ask, what is different about us.
Let try and honor our Lord Jesus, and keep a good spirit.

Many thanks,
Tony on behalf of the leaders.