In-person Sunday Services are cancelled during January
Given the very serious and precarious situation in the UK with regard to the Covid pandemic, the government has announced a new national lockdown. The key message of the lockdown is a stark and simple one: “You must stay at home”.
Even under the new lockdown, churches are still permitted to hold in-person services, providing there is no mixing between people in different households and bubbles and providing that all the rules are strictly obeyed concerning singing, wearing masks and social distancing.
However, just because something is allowed does not necessarily mean that we should do it. Driving at the speed limit is not always prudent for the conditions, even if, strictly speaking it is legal.
And prudence - the art of being thoughtfully wise - is something we are called to cultivate as followers of Jesus.
Consequently, with immediate effect, we have taken the decision to suspend all in-person services on Sunday mornings for the remainder of January.
This resonates with the “stay at home” message and acknowledges that it is a godly thing to respect and protect the vulnerable among us, even at the cost of our own preferences. We know of other churches like ours who have made the same decision - every church will decide for itself.
Towards the end of the month we plan to review the situation and make a decision then on whether or not to hold in-person services in February.
In the meantime we hold online services every Sunday.
And of course all other online activities continue.
Even if we were worshipping in-person, in limited numbers, on Sunday mornings, there would be no legal or prudent opportunity to socialise, fellowship, connect or pray for one another. So we already face the daily challenge to use all the means at our disposal to do these things in a different way so that everyone in the church family participates in the life of the body of Christ.
That requires everyone to play their part.
Everyone to dig deep into God for resilience.
Everyone to connect with a few others.
The body to build itself up in love.
Times are very challenging. But we belong to Christ. We can do this!