As a church we've been monitoring the evolving situation with coronavirus Covid-19 as it's unfolded. For example, last Sunday, we met for our usual services but without refreshments.
Today, we needed to change our plans more drastically than up to this point, as the guidance from the national Church of England is now that all churches should suspend public worship until further notice.
This is in response to the government's advice that people should avoid unnecessary social gatherings, including for religious purposes, and that this is especially important for those over 70, the pregnant, and those with serious underlying health issues. This application of government advice shows that our archbishops consider that people of every age should cease meeting for social purposes, so we've also cancelled our midweek home group and children's / youth groups.
We do all this with a heavy heart. But we are not motivated by fear, but out of love for one another we are concerned not to put others at risk needlessly. We live by faith in our heavenly Father, who loves us and knows our needs intimately. We wish to continue to serve each other and the wider community, but we cannot do that without proper precautions.
The fact that public worship has stopped does not mean that all our worship stops. We can still pray - on our own, and with others on the phone or on a video call. We can read and study the Bible, and share with others what we learn. Our church office will continue to print free Bible reading notes to leave at the back of church. Lastly, preparations are in place to see if we can offer some kind of simple worship service over internet livestream on Sunday mornings.
There is a dedicated page on our website which will be kept up to date with how all our activities are affected. There is also a mailing list we would encourage you to subscribe to, so that you can receive changes to planned activities as promptly as possible.