Our Coronavirus Response Group at London Road has been working hard through all the guidance from Government and the Methodist Church with the aim of re-opening the church around the start of October.
We have undertaken a detailed consideration of the key areas (including cleaning of the premises, signage, layout of seats in the church, supporting NHS Track and Trace, provision and location of sanitisation) and will be taking full proposals and recommendations to a special Trustee Meeting on 3 September that would enable the church to re-open for worship and other activities within one month of that date, if they are approved.
We have seen many and frequent changes to Government guidance over recent weeks and months so these plans could still change if new requirements are introduced but otherwise, with Trustee approval, we should meet our aim.
As we move through these incredibly unconventional times we are being confronted with new challenges and fresh opportunities to explore and discover what it means to be the Church of Christ in the present age. I suspect that, by the time this is past, much will have changed or will have found a new centre point as we find our way through this moment.
The first significant thing that we are being confronted with is a fundamental change to the way we can be the Church. After the Government’s advice was announced on Monday evening, something of a seismic shift was felt in the very shape of how our lives are going to be lived in the coming weeks and months.
These measures are far reaching and quite severe restrictions are being placed on our usual way of life as God’s People here at London Road. The two immediate responses we are seeking to explore are:
So it begins or, perhaps, has already begun. Two words spring to mind. The one from a hymn I’m sure you are all only too familiar with: ‘O God our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, our shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal home’ (Isaac Watts). The other a Psalm I was given to reflect on in my recent retreat at St Bueno’s. Ps 62:7-8 My help and glory are in God—granite-strength and safe-harbour-God—So trust him absolutely, people; lay your lives on the line for him. God is a safe place to be. (The Message)
Let us trust in the One who is able to keep us safe no matter where the road may take us.
Grace & Strength