This time last year, we read wise words from the writer of Proverbs. Proverbs 3:5-6 ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.’ Not one of us expected or were remotely prepared for what would overtake us within just a few…
You will be well aware that we have, for at least the next 3-weeks, now moved into Level 4 restrictive measures which will affect many aspects of our day-to-day lives. It will come as no surprise therefore that physical attendance at church on a Sunday morning by some groups to enjoy the Service and thereafter a short time of Communion, can no longer continue. We will advise the church as and when we feel able to reconvene in this way.
Nevertheless, our Praise Group and Technical Team are, due to their limited numbers, still able to broadcast the Service. So, we still encourage all to make best use of the Church’s online facility for the Sunday morning Services at 11.00am and again to join in on Sunday nights at 6.30pm via the Zoom link.
Work is well under way on our new extension build. Demolition works are complete and the foundations are now being poured. Read on for more info on what we are doing.
You will be aware that the Elders felt it necessary to introduce some practices and protective measures when the church met Sunday past. We have of course been closely monitoring the Government’s announcements and have gauged opinion from other Christian sources as to what further steps should be taken.
The Elders met again this evening and have unanimously agreed that the church at Westwoodhill has a clear obligation to follow the scientific and medical advice for the protection of our church family and of our community at large.
It is therefore with heavy hearts that we share the following new measures to be introduced for the foreseeable future but to be reviewed in 4-weeks’ time –
- House Groups can no longer meet – however, we would encourage you to continue privately with the material and be blessed as you study and meditate on God’s Word.
- Sunday morning and Sunday evening Services will not continue meantime. However, we plan to make use of recorded or live streaming of our Sermons and again benefit and be blessed though the Preaching of God’s Word. We are hopeful of having this in place for Sunday coming, guidance on this will be shared with the church before Sunday.
- Activity Groups meeting in the church building cannot now continue.
- There is no doubt what has come upon our lives, our Fellowship, our Nation, our World is overwhelming and can indeed be the cause of much worry and anxiety. The Elders are now working on plans to ensure as best we can, that Pastoral care and support one for the other continues. We call upon the whole fellowship to play your part and be prepared to show a care, compassion and love for one another prayerfully and practically. We will update you on this matter in due course.
- Overarching all of this, we will continue to Pray, casting ourselves on our loving Heavenly Father who promises His peace in times of trouble.
- Let us not neglect our obligations to pray for those in authority over us and who carry the weight of responsibility as they determine and make decisions for our nation, may they seek God’s guidance and wisdom in all these matters. Also, for our NHS, Medical, Caring and Emergency Services and all who work tirelessly for the health and welfare of our Communities.
Yours in Christ Jesus our Lord,
Coronavirus measures at Westwoodhill
You will be very much aware of the present situation within our nation. Government decisions and announcements are being communicated daily and there is no question we are in uncharted waters.
In the light of this the Elders have prayerfully considered the situation and have decided a number of measures which Westwoodhill Church must embrace. The following are the first steps we will introduce as of tomorrow Sunday 15th March 2020, these may be amended week by week:
- Please do not attend church if you are suffering from any coughs, sneezes, fever or suffer from any underlying health problems and particularly so if you are within one of the vulnerable groups, i.e. elderly, attending hospital or undergoing other medical care. Should this be the case, please make contact with an Elder or someone else in the church. It is vital we are aware of your plans and can then maintain a Pastoral contact and support one another while we all face up to this unprecedented challenge.
- Others who do come to church – must firstly wash your hands in the prescribed manner as you enter the building. We expect to hear many 20 second renditions of the Lord’s Prayer.
- Please refrain from shaking hands or embracing one another. Difficult in Westwoodhill, but we will teach you a ‘sign language’ alternative for future use.
- Children & Creche kids should go straight downstairs where Sunday Club leaders and helpers will assist. They will stay downstairs for a shortened Sunday Club / Creche.
- We will not now share in tea/coffee morning or evening. However, we suggest you still come early giving time to deal with point 2 above.
- The All-age Service will commence as usual at 11.00, however, we will minimise our Praise time but will nevertheless give our Preachers enough time to share their message. We expect the Service time now to be around 45 minutes.
- We have decided to postpone our normal Communion Service arrangements. We will investigate other options but feel at the moment that it is impossible to prevent passing on the virus through handling the emblems etc.
- For the same reason, our weekly offering bags will not now be used. A basket will be made available in the foyer as you leave, please make best use of this.
- The evening Discipleship Explored Course will continue; however, we plan to make use of more areas within the church so as to give better space for the various table groups.
- There is a need to be hyper- cautious with our personal cleanliness especially within the building, try as best you can from touching surfaces, e.g., door handles, switches, equipment. Doors will be wedged open to help minimise the need to open and close them. We will arrange to clean these surfaces thereafter as necessary.
- The above are just some initial steps we feel we must introduce; the Elders will continue to be vigilant with developments in this matter. There is every likelihood that other steps will be taken as more information comes to hand with regards to other Ministries of the Church, e.g. the Little Rainbows Toddler Groups have already been asked to stop. Measures for other activities will be considered and advised separately.
Let us double our efforts to care and support one another through these days. May we have a special care for those who see themselves with the vulnerable group, keep in touch with one another and share any particular matters of concern with the Elders.
Hospital and Care Home facilities etc., have introduced controls and limitations for visitors, we must also be wise and considerate in this matter with one another.
Importantly, in the midst of this unprecedented time let us remember the Lord is with us always and is able to help us experience His peace and bring calm into our hearts and minds.
Yours in Christ,