As a fellowship, we’re longing for the day when we can meet together again as a church family. We understand that some will be keen to do this quickly, others who cannot due to their age or because they are shielding, and some who are fearful of this prospect.
It’s really important that we are all alive to the legitimacy of each response, and endeavour to bear with one another in love, whilst making every effort to maintain unity. The four principles that the elders are using to guide our decision making about the way forward remain: Health, Spiritual Growth, Unity and Witness.
As we move forward as a church, we need to abide fully by the Government guidance, for example, maintaining 2m distancing, and sadly, prohibiting congregational singing.
Other factors that we must take into account are the relatively large size of our congregation, as well as the diverse make up of our church family. Our small building means that we will only be able to accommodate roughly 30 people, whilst maintaining 2m social distancing. Hall Cross are not currently in a position to hire out their facilities, but we are in ongoing contact with them as they consider outside lettings.
As much as we want to meet together, we must proceed cautiously. As Elders, we have been discussing the first small appropriate steps to take as we move forward. With all of these considerations in mind, our plan for July and August is as follows:
- The online services and midweek messages will continue as they have been, so that as far as possible we can all benefit from the same teaching and ministry
- Home groups will meet via Zoom every other week during July and August. On the alternate week, there will be a whole church Zoom prayer meeting. We support a number of different mission partners serving in sensitive regions of the world. We have been unable to share news and pray for these partners in our online service and so these zoom prayer meetings will provide an opportunity to hear from and pray for them. These will start at 8pm and last approximately 45minutes. The first of these will be with Joy on 14th July. Zoom login details will be sent out in the Monday prayer email.
- From Sunday 26th July, we will be starting a prayer meeting in the BEC Building at 7pm. This will last about 45 minutes and be an opportunity for those who want to come together to pray. Numbers will be limited to ensure 2m social distancing is maintained at all times and so booking in advance will be required. Details of how to book will be made available in the coming weeks. Our priority is to keep everyone safe, therefore Staff, Elders and Deacons are working to put all the necessary measures and procedures in place. An explanation of these measures and how the prayer meeting will work will be made available in the coming weeks.
The Elders have spent considerable time deliberating and praying over these decisions, and continue to value your prayers as we move forward. The Elders are always available to talk with anyone and especially at this time as we seek to move forward as a church.
Mark (on behalf of all the Elders)