CORONAVIRUS: OUR RESPONSE
The country is obviously facing a very challenging and difficult time. We are looking at how we can rise to the challenge to continue to love God and our neighbour through the next few weeks and months.
In-line with government and Baptist Union advice we have, very reluctantly, decided to suspend all public gatherings until further notice. This includes all of our usual Sunday services.
As we’re sure you understand, this is a fast moving situation and we are still working out exactly how to meet it. Therefore we would ask that you bear with us and we will inform you of more details as soon as they are available. In the meantime here is an update on some key areas.
Services: our normal Sunday services will be suspended. However we are looking at live streaming a service on YouTube at 10.30 on Sunday mornings. We would love if you could join us in spirit at those services. We plan to trial run the live stream this Sunday (22nd March), and hopefully will be in a position to launch fully the following week (29th March). Keep an eye on the website and our Facebook page for more information on how to do this.
Youth, Children’s and Families: all youth, children’s and families activities are suspended.
Small Groups: we are advising all small groups not to meet in person. We hope to be able to send out material as normal and we would recommend that you meet over Skype or similar. We hope to send out advice on how to do that.
Pastoral care: pastoral support for those of you who are self-isolating and/or ill is obviously very important to us. We’ll be looking at putting in place a system for collecting details of who is self-isolated and what we can do to help them. If that is you and you are comfortable doing so, please let us know so we can pray for you and offer support wherever possible (email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the church office).
Care for vulnerable groups: There will be many people in our community who will be struggling during this difficult time and, again, we are looking at what we can do to help them. Gaffers Café and Soup Run are currently running, with measures put in place to protect everyone involved.
What can you do?
We know that there is a will to act in order to help the situation and in particular for those in need. It is also very natural to feel helpless but there is much you can do:
• Crucially, continue to pray for everyone involved – for the country as a whole, for those who are ill, for doctors and nurses, for our staff team and leadership. We will be continuing the Pray 12 series to guide our prayers.
• Please look after your own health as best you can and follow the advice given from the government on social distancing, especially if you fall into one of the high risk categories. It is right that we demonstrate our love for others by complying with this guidance as much as possible.
• Thankfully, there are many ways we can keep in contact with others. Please reach out to one another and offer support where you can.
• Do you know your neighbours? Reach out to them if possible - perhaps just even putting together a telephone list for people to contact if they need support or a listening ear? This is an amazing opportunity to bring a bit of God’s Kingdom to your street.
• Be a good influence in your community or workplace - look to God and ask Him to help you model selfless love
• If you can offer practical support to others during this time - even if that’s done remotely from home - please contact the church office
• The leadership team will need some support over this time in delivering some of the changes needed - let us know if you can offer any help either in helping to put together a ‘virtual’ service, coordinating practical needs, keeping in contact with people or anything else you can think of!!
• If you need support please contact the church office or email email@example.com
• Financial giving – please continue to financially support the church if you can. We still need to pay our staff and support the work that we need to carry out over the next few months.
• We know you’re a creative bunch and that you’ll have loads of ideas about how we respond to this crisis and seek to continue to build our community together - please let us know!
This is an ongoing situation and it will develop over time. We will continue to keep you informed as it develops. For obvious reasons, most communication will be electronic. Please could you pass any messages on to anyone in the church family if you know they don’t have access to the internet etc. Please do this safely – e.g. by phone rather than in person
You are all in our prayers….
The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace”
MBC Elders: Andy, Adrian, Chris, Fiona, Jeremy, Jo, Joy, Lizzie, & Tim