17 Mar St Paul’s Church, Throop & Coronavirus (COVID-19)
St Paul’s Church, Throop & Coronavirus (COVID-19)
In the light of the most recent updates from the Government, the Church of England and the Diocese of Winchester, the Standing Committee of the PCC have taken the following decisions regarding our common life and worship services:
- Sunday Services are suspended until further advice suggests it’s safe to resume. All those in the ‘at risk’ category, that is the elderly, those with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and lung disease (including Asthma) are advised to stay at home and avoid all unnecessary contact.
- When in and around the church and other people please observe general hygiene advice. Please follow the government and health service advice regarding handwashing. Hand gel (for as long as we can acquire it) will be available at the entrance to church. Tissues and lined bins to receive discarded tissues will also be available. Notices advising appropriate levels of hygiene, and hand cleaning methods, will be displayed. Extra care will be taken in cleaning the church premises, especially with regard to door handles and other key points of contact.
- There will be no service on a Thursday morning at 9:45. This service is used by those who are most vulnerable to the virus and will therefore not continue.
- We will not be opening our Community café on a Tuesday or Thursday morning.
- The Lent Course will not be taking place on Thursdays – though we will be working with Rev Dr Peter Walker to produce recordings and videos to enable people to complete the course via our website.
- Home groups are also suspended but I would encourage you to keep in touch with one another and continue to offer care and prayer support across your group and beyond.
- Grapevine is suspended until further advice suggests otherwise.
- Little Lambs is suspended until further advice suggests otherwise.
- Our weekly prayer timings will continue (Tues 7pm & Thurs 7am) but we’ll pray from our homes.
- A team of volunteers has been put together who are willing to deliver shopping, medicines and support to those who become isolated and do not have a friends / family network around them. Speak to Jim or Pippa in the Office if you would like to offer help with this. A card is available for you to use and give to the vulnerable to offer the church as a source of support and practical action.
- Children and Youth activities are suspended until further advice suggests otherwise.
- A Coronavirus Parish Continuity Plan has been discussed and completed. This ensures we have clear communication points and actions to support the vulnerable as well as the ongoing life of the church.
We appreciate your support in this and ask for your ongoing prayers for our nation, our church and each other, that the Lord would protect, heal and comfort. As we approach Easter and encounter the negative impact of this virus on our society, let’s be about the business of sharing the hope we have in the risen Lord Jesus. In our daily encounters let’s remind people that:
- in Jesus we have a reason for hope (Mark 16:6) and need not despair.
- because of Him we need not fear anything in this world (Romans 8: 38)
- that our Lord is sovereign, even in times like these (Phil 2: 9-11)
- that even when we’re self-isolating we’re never alone (John 14: 15-17; Matt 28: 20)
- we’re to love our neighbour as ourselves (Matt 22: 37-40) and should therefore check on those we know to be vulnerable in our streets and our neighbourhood, to ensure they are being cared for.
- foodbanks, homeless projects and other important social action works will require our support and donations even more than usual.
- information and advice is readily available:
National Government advice: https://www.gov.uk/…/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-res…
BCP Council advice: https://www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/…/C…/Coronavirus-Covid-19.aspx
Church of England advice: https://www.churchofengland.org/…/coronavirus-covid-19-guid…
REMEMBER WE DON’T ‘GO TO CHURCH’. WE ARE THE CHURCH!
Remember to be in touch us via the office if we can help in any way: 01202 525525 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember worship resources are available:
access to cofe worship related apps – https://www.chpublishing.co.uk/apps
Alexa and Google Home Smart Speaker Apps: https://www.churchofengland.org/our-faith/our-smart-speaker-apps
Remember our church continues online (we’re rapidly learning how to operate in this new way – be patient with us!):
Those who cannot access online material, I will be working to provide you with some worship material for each Sunday that the church is closed! It will, I hope, come through your door.