Covid 19 Update (18/3/20)
Church Goes on, Physical Meetings Don’t
As a church we have a number of priorities during this difficult time. Firstly, the message about Jesus is still the best news available; we want to see people know Him and follow Him.
Secondly, we want to keep growing as a community which loves one another in genuine friendships, sharing life together through the good times and bad.The church consists of people who love Jesus, not a building. Which means we can continue to operate in relationship even without all being in the same place.
Thirdly, we want to be a community which cares for people who are struggling because of Coronavirus, as Jesus has cared for us; sacrificially and freely giving themselves for others.
These things do not change, even though our timetable and logistics have! In fact, the coming period is an opportunity for us to grow in these things, not weaken.
We will not be running physical Sunday meetings or small groups until further notice. We will move these meetings online for the time being. This is to help us operate in line with guidance from the Government, Public Health England and the NHS.
Here is the plan:
- Sunday meetings will be livestreamed (currently planned to be on Facebook).
- Midweek meetings will be facilitated using Zoom, a simple conference call platform. (If anyone wants to sign up to it and download the App so they are prepared, the website is https://zoom.us/ or it can be found on Google play store/ IOS equivalent.)
I want to encourage everyone to keep their diary as normal with regards to meetings. This is a great time for us as a community to come closer together, not further apart. Meeting online will allow us to pray, encourage one another, receive teaching and highlight any help anyone needs. It is really important that we stay connected during this time.
I’d also encourage each of us to continue giving as we normally do to CCP. Currently costs have not decreased but have in fact increased due to additional printing, digital service costs etc. Thank you so much for your regular giving which enables us all to serve Jesus together.
If you haven’t in the last few days read the current guidance from the NHS or Public Health England I recommend that you do so. I’ve copied and pasted a small excerpt from Public Health England’s guidance on Social Distancing below:
“What is social distancing?
Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough
Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible
Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Please refer to employer guidance for more information
Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs
Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media
Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services
Everyone should be trying to follow these measures as much as is pragmatic.”
Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults [Accessed 18/3/20]
Point 5 in the above recommendations is particularly relevant to us as a church. We follow these guidelines as a way of loving our neighbours as ourselves (Mark 12:31).
Folks, this is a time for us to pull together as a church, to keep caring for one another and keep communicating. It is also a great time to turn to God, seek Him and trust Him. Romans 8:28 is a mighty fortress at times like this:
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
Here’s what I do with scripture like that: I reflect on it, trust God based on what it reveals of Him, and then I turn it into a prayer of thanks and worship. He is our security, He is our safe place, He is our confidence.
Love in Christ,
Andy & Ben
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Meeting every Sunday, 10:30am at The Atrium, Fylde Rd, Preston, PR1 2TQ (Access to the Atrium, where we meet, is on the Adelphi Street side, not on Fylde Road)