You will appreciate that the situation is changing very quickly. Following up from our update yesterday, we are tonight anouncing that we will not be having any further events in the church building for the forseeable future. That means all church services are cancelled. Also ToddleIn, ToP, all the Bible study groups, addiction groups and all other events likewise.
Obviously we do this with a heavy heart, but we want to be responsible to the more vulnerable people in our communities, and to follow government guidance.
However, that does not mean that church stops. Although the next few months will be deeply challenging, we have lots of exciting plans.
Almost everything we will be doing from this point onwards will be through our small groups. If you are not connected to one, please contact Jon or Simon and we would be happy to put you in touch. They will not be meeting physically together of course, but will connect in all sorts of other ways.
We plan to have a service by video on Sunday morning at 10am, whcih you will be able to watch on our YouTube channel. More information will come through the small groups.
In addition, if you want to stay in touch with us, please join our mailing list.
Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me,Psalm 57:1
for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed.
Many have asked what our plan is in the current difficulties. You’ll appreciate that this is a fast-changing situation and we will make updates when needed.
First, let’s be clear: Jesus is just as much Lord and Saviour as he was a month ago. There is no need to panic. The Lord says “do not fear” to his people more than pretty much anything else. But we need to be sensible and protect the most vulnerable in our church and in our communities.
Second, the following groups of people MUST self-isolate, in line with government guidance:
- Anyone aged 70 or over.
- Anyone under 70 with a serious underlying health condition (especially asthma, bronchitis, heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s, those on steroids, those using certain immuno-supression medication for arthritis and cancer.)
- Pregnant women.
- Anyone displaying symptoms of coronavirus (high temperature, cough).
No-one in these categories should be at any church service or meeting.
Third, the AGM scheduled for tomorrow is cancelled. Instead, we want to invite anyone who is healthy to come to the church to talk and to pray for ourselves and our communities. We will take extra precautions to keep people safe, and feel free not to come. However, we think the number of times we can gather together is very limited – it may be our last opportunity for a while.
Fourth, we are currently planning to have a service on Sunday morning. We will run some sort of Sunday School, recognising that younger people and families are vastly less vulnerable to Coronavirus. We plan to live-steam the whole service on our YouTube channel, and maybe on our Facebook page. The evening service is cancelled for the foreseeable future.
Fifth, our small groups will provide the “front-line” of support to those who need it most. Your small-group leader will be in touch this week to tell you what that might look like. We will need to care for each other. If you are an irregular part of a small-group, now is the time to get stuck in: offer help, make phone calls, care for the elderly, vulnerable and those with little family support.
Sixth, don’t panic. This is a great opportunity to pull together as a church; to love one-another as Jesus commanded. Obviously church is going to look very different for a while. But we don’t cease to be church.
May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you. (Psalm 33:22)
Through the generosity of various individuals at Park, we are delighted to be able to offer a training position for someone exploring a call to some kind of Christian ministry.
In particular, this year we are looking for someone who can help us develop our work among teenagers.
This is a part-time, paid, training position.
Do please take a look at the information pack and application form. The deadline is 11th February 2020.
In May 2019, three people were baptised at Park. You can see one of their stories here:
Many thanks to all who showed up. Actually quite a lot of fun!
Some pictures from Carols by Candlelight this year…
Three of the four baptisms from Sunday 2nd December…
REAL meets a few times a year and is for all women in the church.
Roy was baptised on 19th August, age 92. Here’s why…