17th March 2020
In the light of government guidance around non-essential contact, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have issued advice that public worship is suspended until further notice.
What does this information mean for St. John's?
In line with national guidance, we are suspending all church services and groups that involve being in close proximity with others until further notice. We do not want to expose anyone in our community to unnecessary risks, and we do not want to cause any additional stress on the already overstretched NHS.
We recognise that this will be really difficult for many of our church members. Meeting together as church gives rhythm to our week. It is a source of comfort and hope, and a place where strong relationships are forged and pastoral support given. Church enables us to connect with God, each other and our community. During this period of social distancing, we will continue to explore new ways to be the people of God together. We will:
- Share a range of online prayer and worship resources, for people of every age and stage, through the church website so that people can access spiritual support.
- Make phone contact with those members of the church who may require additional support to learn how we can help.
- Arrange “buddies” where required for those who are self-isolating so that people have someone to speak to, pray with and help with practical needs.
- Keep in touch with specific ministry groups through WhatsApp groups to share prayer needs and news.
- Support the foodbank on Winn Gardens by encouraging church members to donate generously to those who are in need. (Donations will need to be taken to the Pavilion on Winn Gardens. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information)
- In particular, the Archbishops are calling us to a day of prayer and action this coming Sunday (22nd March), to hold before God the sick and the anxious and all involved in healthcare. The Archbishops are inviting us all to place a lighted candle in a window at 7.00 p.m. as a sign of solidarity and hope in the light of Christ that can never be extinguished.
How can we take individual responsibility?
- If you are aged over 70, or have any underlying medical conditions, please follow government and medical advice concerning self -isolation for the next 12 weeks. If this applies to you and you would like to ensure that you have pastoral support, please let us know by emailing email@example.com so that we can offer support and help.
- If you have a temperature, or a new persistent cough, please follow Government advice and self-isolate with your household for 14 days. If you need pastoral support as you do this, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can offer support and help.
- Please follow government advice around hand hygiene. Follow the good hand washing and gel use technique from the NHS website.
- Think about people you know in the church family, your small group or local area that might be vulnerable or self-isolating and make contact with them to check that they are okay and can access the support they need.
- If you are supporting someone who is self-isolating, please keep yourself safe. Do not visit people in their homes, instead make phone contact, or drop off deliveries at the doorstep. We need to care for one another in new ways for the time being.
If you require health advice please visit the NHS website
For the latest government advice please see the Government website
For the most up to date advice from the Church of England, please see the Church of England website