The virus and us

Dear Friends,

Following the Prime Minister’s request for us all to help limit virus infections and thereby even more pressure on our NHS, we will not be meeting as Church for the foreseeable future. That includes small groups and prayer meetings.

The Government is clearly asking everyone to do all we can to limit social contact because unless the projected infection rate falls there are good grounds to think that our NHS will be as overwhelmed as the health service in Italy. As Christians we are not Teflon coated or immune to disease or illness. We can contract and pass on this virus as much as anyone else can. At a time when others will be making huge sacrifices we cannot be seen as being reckless and selfish. We need to be acting in solidarity with everyone else.

We plan to have a weekly sermon uploaded onto our website and this may be ‘live’ on Sunday at 10.30 depending on technology! In addition, we will be using Facebook to upload encouragement and news. Please be checking out these sites for uploads and updates over coming days.

In addition, I have been in close contact with the Town Council who are putting together a plan for allocating volunteers to be a contact point for help with shopping etc in each street. There is a need for these volunteers to be DBS approved so if you have that clearance and would like to offer yourselves to help please let me know.

The Care Team, Deacons and I will be ensuring we are in regular contact with those from church who are vulnerable or are self-isolating. That contact will be by telephone.

As we have been saying over recent weeks, if you need help please do get in touch. We need to be as here for one another as we can be - and we will have a prayer update as often as we have needs to share. Please send prayer requests direct to me.

These are unprecedented times. I can well imagine that the feeling of being overwhelmed is very real as you watch or listen to the news. There have been pandemics before, but never before has the world faced them with such advances in medical science. We should be truly grateful for our medics and scientists. The news from China seems to give us hope that there is another side of this curve. In time, good news will come. I was reflecting today on what it must be like to read all that I am reading without faith. What an encouragement it is to know Jesus and to know we can put our trust in God!

It may seem a bit dramatic but I am mindful of what George VI quoted in 1939 ‘I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year ‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown’. And he replied – ‘Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way!’ So, I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. And he led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East’

Finally, my phone just went, I answered expecting another piece of news about cancellations, but no! It was one of those pre - recorded messages from my ‘local oven cleaning business’ touting for trade! I laughed! It’s good to know some things don’t change!

My love and prayers

Daniel

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