We are really excited to be looking to start meeting together on Sundays in the church building. Our planned start date for this is 2nd May. These meetings will also be broadcast live via Zoom to ensure people who are not able to or are not comfortable meeting physically can still join us.
We want to ensure that we are able to meet together to worship, but in a way that protects each other and our community. At the moment, the guidelines and restrictions for places of worship have not been changed significantly. This will mean there will be certain restrictions in palace.:
To meet current guidelines households will be able to sit together, but we will be ensuring people are seated 2 metres apart. To ensure this we will be restricting numbers able to attend on a Sunday. People will be able to book in via our website or you can contact the church office. Booking will go live on the Monday before each Sunday.
Face masks will have to be worn during our time in the building, unless you are not able to wear a mask for a particular reasoning.
Movement round the building may be restricted so please observe any one way directions or instructions given by our stewards.
Before and after the service:
If you have Covid symptoms or have tested positive for Covid and been advised to isolate we ask that you do not attend our service.
We will ask you to ensure you use appropriate hand cleansing methods on entering and leaving the building.
We will be asking that people do not interact outside of their household/bubble while in the building. You will be asked to leave immediately after the service and please follow any specific instructions as necessary.
Please ensure that anything you bring with you, you take away with you.
Currently we are not able to offer refreshments but please feel free to bring some with you for your own personal use.
During the service:
The current restrictions do not allow for communal singing. We will have music and worship lead from the front but would ask that you do not sing out loud. We will encourage individual contributions that are done in a Covid secure way and ask that you follow any directions given.
Unless otherwise directed we would ask that you do not move around during the service.
At the moment we do not have specific plans to have separate children's/youth activities on Sunday. For primary school age children there will be a recorded service available from 9.00am each Sunday on our Kid Zone page and our YouTube channel. There are various activities and sessions available for 11-18 years and further information is available from the church office.
Over the last few months we have all learnt not to be certain about how and when Covid 19 restrictions will change, but we expect things to open up as we anticipate certain restrictions being lifted. As the situation develops and the guidance changes we will adapt what we do accordingly, and keep you updated.
And over the next few weeks we hope to be able to meet more people outside in our gardens. So lets be making the most of these opportunities, especially in our Community Groups.
As many of you may now be aware London will be moving to Tier 2 (High) level of restrictions from Saturday.
We are just letting you know we will still be having our meetings this Sunday (18th October) at 9.30am and 11.15am. The only impact we see these new restrictions having on these meetings is that only people from the same household will be able to sit together. Household groups and individuals will then have to be seated 2 metres apart. Please don't forget to book in via our website, if you wish to come on Sunday, so we can ensure we have the correct numbers
When we first made the decision to start meetings in the building we said that October would be a trial to see how things went. After Sunday we will be reviewing how things have gone and the impact of the new restrictions and will be letting you know any further decisions on how we will continue to do our Sunday Services.
These are frustrating and challenging times, and we can not always plan ahead with certainty! Let's be encouraged that we have a God who hears our prayers, who promises to never leave us and, as it says in Psalm 68, daily bears our burdens (bears us up). So let's be coming to Him daily.
God bless and thank you for your faith and patience as we all navigate the next few months together.
As you may be aware the government has issued a provisional plan to loosen lock down restrictions. One of the key dates is potentially 4th July, when places of worship may be considered to be re-opened. In order for this to happen we would need to ensure we can open safely within current guidelines and we will keep you updated with any plans we may have.
In the meantime please continue to connect with us via our online services on Sunday mornings and through our website.
We had a very powerful picture on Sunday of how only weeds can grow when the ground is covered over by darkness. But that when the darkness is removed, and light can shine in, then real healthy growth can happen. Also, from Psalm 91 we were reminded of the blessing that comes from being under the loving protection of God.
In the midst of this situation, let us not be overwhelmed with the darkness and let the weeds of depression, hopelessness and fear grow but look to the gospel of God and allow the light of the world, Jesus, to fill us with faith through His word.
Let us continue to look for every opportunity to let this light we have shine in to the lives of our family, friends and neighbours.
As you will be aware the situation with the Coronavirus is developing on a daily basis. Following the latest advice given from the Government yesterday, that included the recommendation to stop non essential contact, we have made the following decisions -
We will not be meeting together on Sundays until further notice, this includes the evening prayer meeting. This will take effect immediately and therefore there will be no meeting this Sunday, 22nd March.
In order to facilitate hearing Gods word, our plan is to live stream a shorter, simplified worship service here, on our website, each Sunday at 10.30am.
We are wanting to continue to encourage people to contribute spiritual gifts to encourage the church. To facilitate this please send a video of your contribution, recorded (in landscape please) from your phone, to the office. We'll feature some of these during our Sunday live stream. Please keep these to 1 or 2 minutes only.
All Community Group meetings have been cancelled until further notice. We are looking at different ways we can facilitate Community Groups across the church and will send out further communication regarding this at a later date. Please continue to check in with one another, encourage and pray for one another and think about how you can help one another practically.
GIFT DAYS / GIVING
In light of the potential financial impact at this time, we have decided to delay our Gift Days due to take place in March. If you had already decided on what you might give, maybe put this aside so when we run our Gift Days again you are able to use this.
As we won't be meeting together on Sundays, we do not want people to miss out on the opportunity to worship God through financial giving. If you usually give into the offering on a Sunday morning, please consider other ways you may be able to give. You can give online, or if you haven't set up a regular standing order, you might prefer to do that now.
Our account details are -
Community Church Putney
Sort Code: 60-24-07
Account Number: 87141167
We also consider it wise to cancel our Church Weekend Away in May.
If you have already booked in and paid, then refunds were implemented this morning. We are not sure how long it will take for your money to be returned. If you haven't received you refund in the next 7-10 days, please email the church office.
OTHER CHURCH ACTIVITIES
As of today, all other church activities are cancelled until further notice. This includes,
Serendipity Cafe is also cancelled but we are exploring alternative ways we can distribute food to those who need it.
We continue to trust in Gods perfect will, let us continue to pray for our nation, the church and for Gods kingdom to come in the lives of many.
The Coronavirus And Us.
We are living through uncertain times. News and advice is changing at a rapid pace.
In situations like these, it reminds us of our fragility, our dependence on others - we are relational beings - and gives us a sense of loss of control. In all of this is the challenge of how we are to respond, personally and as a church.
As Christians we are called to respond in a different way to the world. We know that Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd, He is the resurrection and the life. He is in control and, surely, only Jesus can guide us through this. He calls us to trust and believe, to have faith and not fear.
One of the ways of expressing this trust and faith is to pray. Here are some practical ways to be praying at this time:
Pray for the authorities running our countries and cities - for wisdom and leadership in handling the responses to the virus and stability in the economy.
Pray for the medical teams and our NHS personnel who are helping and treating the sick.
Pray for those who have been infected - for quick recovery and protection for their families.
Pray protection over those who are at particular risk - those with other health conditions, the elderly, etc.
And let's be mindful of those who are vulnerable to the consequences of the infection in the church and in our neighbourhoods. Keep in regular touch with people in your community groups. Think about practical ways of helping those that may have to isolate themselves.
If You Have Symptoms
The current advice is that if you have any symptoms, the government are advising you to self-isolate for seven to fourteen days. It is important to let your Community Group Leaders know, so someone is aware of your situation.
If you have any concerns or worries, then please get in touch.
Love in Christ
From The Elders