Yesterday the Government introduced further advice on social distancing. In it they advised that we avoid gatherings in large or small groups. They also advised that we avoid gatherings with friends and family, and that we keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media rather than meeting in person.
Yesterday afternoon during a parliamentary question time, Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, confirmed that this advice extended to church gatherings.
Since this information was released the church elders have confirmed we will be following this advice for the immediate future.
This means that for our weekly gatherings we will be finding new ways of meeting together using technology rather than being together in person. 181 Chaldon Road, will not be open for weekly events, including Open House, CAMEO, BLAST events and Sunday services. We are also advised not to meet for Small Groups in our homes.
However, we will continue to provide online resources that each of us can access and use and share with our families and in our homes. The office team is working on how we might be able to effectively use technology, including streaming virtual Church services online, publishing resources on our website like Small Groups material or children’s crafts, Youth Group studies, and regular prayer updates.
For those without internet access, we will be in touch with each other by phone and trying to keep them connected as well.
We are working hard to resource the Church even though we may not be gathered together in one place.
These are unusual times, but what is great is that the Bible and church history tell us that the church flourishes in them rather than declines.
1 Peter 1:23-25 tells us:23 For you have been born again,not of perishable seed, but of imperishable,through the living and enduring word of God.24 For,”All people are like grass,and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
25 but the word of the Lord endures forever.”[c]