Coronavirus and our community
As a church we’re doing what we can to act wisely and to prepare practically. We’re also doing what we can to help one another spiritually. A situation like this reminds us that humans are frail creatures, that we don’t have quite the control over our own lives that we would like. One of the things we’ll all be aware of is people having to isolate themselves. The pain of having to take that step reminds us that God made us for relationships. We’re called to be in the Christian life together. Whatever the next few weeks brings, there’s a chance for us to show the love of God who calls people into community.
Here is a prayer you might pray:
Lord Jesus, when you walked on earth
you healed the sick and stilled the storm;
We look upon our world and see its frailty and weakness.
We ask that you would look kindly on us,
Please help all who are sick and all who are confined
Please help all medical teams and care workers,
Please comfort the afraid, and those worried for their loved ones
Give us all faith above fear.
As we weep at sickness on earth,
May it remind us we are made for a new creation with you.
Please follow the Government’s advice and if you have symptoms, or feel you are vulnerable, act as they have advised. We are aware of a few people who are following the Government’s advice and are self-isolating. If you are too, please let us know. We want to be able to pray for you and if you would like, give you a call and offer help.
What we are doing
The Church of England guidance rightly speaks of pulling back. However, it also reminds us that this is a time for us to be moving outwards as a church:
- Sunday Worship While all public worship now needs to stop, we have those skilled in broadcasting and are able to livestream a service ‘behind closed doors’. We intend to stream a Sunday morning service at 10:30am, accessible on our website or through the Platt Youtube channel. It could be of enormous encouragement not just to Platt folk but beyond. Could you share that with others, encourage them to watch, set up WhatsApp groups to chat about the service as it goes along?
- Help Can you offer help to congregation members? It could be buying food, phoning those who are vulnerable or isolated, or sending an encouraging card. This is being administered by Maria, Grace and Debbie who are coordinating our response. We are aiming to work geographically where we can so that we can link up people who are nearby.
- Parish Similarly what connections do you have in our local parish? What streets and individuals are you connected to – can you make contact and see if people are in need.
- Local businesses Where appropriate can you support local shops that remain open and serve your local communities?
- Foodbank Our local foodbank needs our ongoing support. They are concerned that stocks will run low as weeks go on. Could you pick up something extra?
- Financial hardship There may be those within Platt who will start to struggle financially. Is that something you are in a position to help with?
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help in these ways.
This is the time to remember what we believe. That God has always been a God who moves us outwards – and almost always leading out through trials. From his leading his people out of slavery, to the Spirit pushing the struggling early church out with the good news of Jesus’ resurrection. It was their belief that Jesus truly had risen that meant they knew death was not something to shrink from.
You’ll naturally be aware of the fast moving situation with Coronavirus. We’re regularly monitoring and reviewing aspects of church life. This page will be updated with the latest information regarding how Coronavirus will affect church life and the actions we are taking in response to this.
- All public worship is suspended at the direction of the CofE.
- Midweek groups have all stopped for the time being.
- Congregation members are self-isolating appropriately either because of age, because of symptoms themselves or in their households, or being vulnerable.
Please read this updated page to see other things we can all be doing in response.
Tomorrow’s Splatt, Oasis and Roots groups have all been cancelled.
The lunch after the 11:30am service on Sun 22 March and the Tea Dance on Sat 28 March have both been cancelled.
The Langham Partnership event has been postponed.
The Church of England has today issued guidance suspending the common cup at Holy Communion services until further notice. This guidance has been fully adopted by Manchester Diocese meaning at upcoming services we will be offering communion in one kind (ie the bread only).
- This Sunday evening will be a regular evening service, not a Communion service.
- For the time being we are suspending use of the offertory bags. There will be retiring collections instead, so please do make use of that if would like to.
- Please consider bringing your own Bible to church. We will be inviting people to collect their own Bibles at Sunday services to reduce risk further.
Bishop David writes: “You will be aware from the news stories about the spread of the Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in recent weeks and we all hold in our prayers those affected in any way.” Please read the rest of his guidance for Churches here.