Coronavirus news

This page will be kept up to date with all news and information about our church's response to the Coronavirus so please check back here regularly for current information or check our Facebook page for updates.

Please see this press release from Churches Leaders in Britain and Ireland

Re-opening plans

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.

Words from our Minister

Dear Friends,

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:

  1. Pastoral Care. We recognise that the biggest challenge brought by the measures being taken to curtail this virus’ growth is isolation. For our congregation that is especially true as many of our members fall into the vulnerable age category and a lot are also single. We will be seeking ways in which we can support each other through this crisis by doing shopping, collecting prescriptions or similar tasks. Also, every one of us can make use of the telephone and spend some time bringing some comfort and cheer to someone in a lonely place. Don’t think about it – make that call!
  2. The Church as a Place of Prayer. We want to make the church available as a place of solace and prayer, a refuge in this time of turmoil and strife. To that end we are doing a thorough risk assessment of what is required and hopefully we’ll be able to make it available for specific periods throughout the week. Once we have concluded our explorations, we will let you know of the outcome. In the meantime, you don’t need to be in church to pray so please do pray at home. It is our intention to distribute material to aid you in your private devotions as part of the wider Church and these will be forthcoming on a weekly basis each weekend.

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

Gavin

Methodist Church guidance

Guidance from the Methodist Church in Britain can be found here.