Coronavirus

RSS

A letter from our Superintendent Minister, Reverend Tony Cavanagh, regarding the current Coronavirus pandemic

 

17th March 2020

Dear Friends,

“We are living in some extraordinary times, which call us to take extraordinary measures to try and ensure everyone stays as safe as possible.  Even after reading the advice given by Public Health England and the Methodist Church Connexional Team, it is unnerving to think about cancelling services of worship even if we feel it is appropriate to cancel other non-vital church meetings.  It feels counterintuitive to close our doors when our communities are facing such uncertainty and people need support and care.  As painful as it is, cancelling public acts of worship is the responsible, compassionate thing to do because we do not want to invite others into a situation where they might be harmed. None of us know what we are carrying or what we may leave behind despite our very best efforts to keep ourselves virus free.  

So, with immediate effect, we are ceasing to meet for public acts of worship and our church buildings will be closed to such acts of worship until it becomes apparent that the threat from the Covid 19 virus has subsided significantly.  This includes Baptisms and Weddings, which will need to be postponed. Regarding funerals a short act of committal will take off church premises, and at a later date, when it is safe to do so a thanksgiving service will be arranged. On the Methodist Church website, it suggests that we might consider keeping buildings open for a time of prayer, but as a CLT we do not feel that we want to put people in a position where they might risk their own health and wellbeing by doing so. As a result, we are saying that all our buildings will close to all church related activities and projects.

However, just because we are not meeting for public worship does not mean we cease to be church.  We continue to be a praying, worshipping fellowship even when we are not in the church building.

 

As ministers we will seek to provide you with access to materials to aid your own quiet times and times of worship. We will do this through posting links on the Circuit Website to external sources of worship aids and through providing prayers, readings and a weekly message. If any local preacher would like to be included in putting this together then please let me know. As most of our services are at 10.30am on a Sunday, we would like to suggest that we see this as a time when we can all pray together wherever we are. We will also seek to provide worship sheets that can be printed and taken to folk who do not have access to the internet. We would ask the pastoral visitors / buddies to do this but ensure that the do not put themselves at risk in doing so.

 

As we all find a way through the coming weeks and months, please also remember to:

Prayerfully support the Ministers, Lay Staff and Circuit Stewards in the circuit as well as the Local Leadership Teams, Stewards and Pastoral Visitors in each church - some really hard decisions have had to be made and they will all have spent time having difficult conversations, prayer and discernment before making these decisions which are ultimately for our wellbeing.

Care for others as well as care for ourselves - remember, we are ambassadors for the gospel and so how we behave and how we respond to this crisis matters.  

Pray for your church family and the community around you.  We are one body and if one part of the body is suffering, we all suffer so please stay connected to each other and care for each other’s spiritual needs as well as physical need.


If you are able, please consider if you can continue to support your church financially.  Even churches with the healthiest budgets can quickly find themselves in difficulties after a few Sundays of missed offerings and other income.  

PLEASE DO NOT BE AFRAID TO CALL OR ASK FOR ANYTHING - WE ARE ALL HERE TO HELP, TO PRAY WITH YOU AND TO SUPPORT YOU WHEREVER WE CAN.”

Wishing you all Peace and love in these difficult times and remember stay safe.

Rev Tony

 

Download a pre-prepared Worship service to follow whenever you wish, as most of our services are at 10:30am on a Sunday, we would like to suggest that we see this as a time when we can all pray together wherever we are.

 The Eyes of the Blind Receive Sight, by Reverend David Le Poidevin