Following an unprecedented and challenging last 18 months where we have experienced an array of Covid restrictions in Church, we are now at a point to let you know about some changes.
In light of the recent government announcements, we would like to set out for you some best practice guidelines relating to church attendance commencing this coming Sunday.
We are conscious that there will be a variety of views on the subject and some people will wish to return to Pre-Covid conditions straight away, while others will take a more cautious approach. In light of this we are trying to plot a course which is a balanced approach considering all parties involved and the plans we are setting forward will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. I appreciate your patience and compliance with the following:
As has been our practice throughout the pandemic we ask that if you have any symptoms or are isolating that you, please do not attend church.
On entry to the church we will still have the QR codes and we will still keep a register of those in attendance for Track and Isolate.
At this moment in time, we would prefer that you continue to wear a mask as you enter and exit and move about the church building.
We have slightly adjusted the seating to bring some chairs closer together but we have also tried to maintain a level of social distancing while seated.
Once you are seated, you now have the option if you wish to remove your mask for the duration of the service and this includes when you stand for the songs.
And singing is now permitted. We do leave it to personal choice if you wish to keep your mask on for the duration of the service but others may wish to remove them.
We will continue to serve communion in a Covid safe way as we have done in recent months.
At this moment in time, we will not be serving refreshments after the service but hope that we may re-introduce this after the summer.
As has been said, these measures are aimed at a balanced approach and hopefully meet with your approval and will be reviewed on a monthly basis
Thank you for your patience and we are really looking forward to seeing you on Sunday as we can finally sing our praises to God once more.
As we continue to journey through these unchartered waters
of COVID 19 it is relevant at this time to give a further update. As a Church
we have of course been following government advice in relation to our various
Church activities. But as we begin to move out of the more stringent rules it
is important to handle our re-entry in a safe and reasonable manner.
The government has outlined a potential opening date for
churches to be the 4th July, although this is data permitting. Even
so it seems that the threat of COVID 19 will still be apparent and therefore
the leadership of the Church have decided that all the weekly activities in the
life of the Church will not look at restarting until at least September. This
will include activities such as Chapel Tots, Oasis and Soup and a Roll,
although we will continue to monitor and discuss what we do in regards to our Sunday
morning celebration. We will of course continue to live stream our Sunday
morning services for the foreseeable future.
Naturally concern for our community and for those in the
more “at risk” categories in our society needed to be considered, and such
reflection has resulted in this difficult decision. While this may be sad news,
this decision is based on careful thought and a deep concern for public health.
We would like to announce some additional changes to our
current system of communicating during lockdown. As of June 1st our
weekly fellowship call will move to a Monday evening at 8pm to facilitate the
reopening of a Zoom house group starting on 2nd June. This will run
on alternate Tuesdays with a Zoom prayer meeting occurring on the other
Tuesdays. This follows the pattern we used pre-lock down and will enable the
Church to engage on both a personal and spiritual level. The details of this slight
adjustment are on the Church notices emailed each week and I encourage those
who wish to be part of a house group to take the opportunity to join in on
Zoom. We will begin with one house group operating but hopefully the uptake
will involve more groups being formed.
For the time being we are joining together the two house
groups as some from David Okell’s group are unable to access Zoom. So Andy and
Ruth’s group will meet via Zoom and you are encouraged to log in and
participate. Even if you haven’t been part of a house group before this is a
great opportunity to have fellowship with others from Church and to spend some
time together praying and reading God’s Word.
Let us continue to pray for both our nation and our world in
the midst of this pandemic and I pray that you will be filled with a real sense
of the love of God in your lives at this difficult time.
Join us this Sunday morning 19th April at 11am for our Sunday Live Stream The worship this week will feature a few worship songs you may not have heard before. You can listen below and have a little practice before Sunday 🙂
Loving our neighbour as Jesus Christ called His followers to do is challenging at the best of times, but during a pandemic it becomes even more tricky, not least because we can become unwitting carriers of the virus ourselves.
In the light of the Government’s announcement and advise from the Baptist Union of Great Britain, our leaders had a conference call last night. It is clear that we cannot just carry on as normal and that we must take notice of Government advice. Therefore, from today we are suspending all gathered church activities for the foreseeable future. This includes all mid-week meetings and activities, house groups, prayer meetings and Sunday services.
This is not something we do lightly or easily, but with a heavy sense of responsibility. We understand that it will raise many questions, which we can’t answer at the moment. We have very real concerns about how we love and serve people during this time. Our understanding of the teaching of Jesus to love our neighbour as we would love ourselves has been, and will be, our primary objective throughout this crisis.
We will be utilizing technology at this time and on a Sunday morning there will be a live stream of some prayers and a short message presented by our Pastor. You can access this facility by logging onto the Church website and clicking on the link for the live stream. We also have a Church Whatsapp group and we will use this tool to provide information and prayer requests to the wider congregation. If you would like to be included in this, then please contact Ruth for more information. For those without the use of a computer or smartphone we are currently exploring ways of recording the Sunday message onto a CD, to be made available and subsequently delivered to those who require it. If you would like to receive a copy please let one of the leadership team know. We are also considering what other types of communication technology we can use (e.g. telephone conference call) and will update you further as these plans are finalized.
As Christians we believe that God is at work in every situation for the good of those who love Him, and we invite you to join us in prayer that the Coronavirus will turn out to be a great opportunity for us to be good news to Stockton Heath, and that we will discover some wonderful and innovative ways of being church together.
We will do our utmost to keep you well informed on a regular basis. If you are anxious and would appreciate someone praying for you, or if you need practical help in some way, please do not hesitate to contact us via the Church website, you can email Paul at the following email address – Pastor@shcf.info or leave a message on 01925 601309.
Almost 2 years ago we held 4 sessions in Sunday evenings about ‘JUST WALK ACROSS THE ROOM’ using DVD clips and discussions café style.
This year, we will deliver five sessions in Sunday evenings of March 5th; 12th; 19th; 26th; April 2nd at 6pm in the church. The format will be using DVD clips and discussions café style.
THE ME I WANT TO BE
“I’m a grown man, I thought. I do not know how many years of life are before me. I cannot wait any more. When I was going to school, I was preoccupied with good grades or getting cute girls to like me. As the tears went by, I became preoccupied with work and my circumstances because I thought they would make me alive. I can’t wait anymore to be that man. I thought.”
“I realized this then, and I know it now: I want that life more than I want anything else. Not because I think I am supposed to, not because it says somewhere that you should. I want it.”
“There is a me I want to be.”
“Life is not about any particular achievement or experience. The most important task of your life is not what you do, but who you become.”
“There is a me you want to be.”
Your life is God’s project, not yours.
We have some posters and postcard-size posters to use and give to invite others to come.
You will need a ‘Participants Guide’ so you can make notes and aid discussions. You can also have the book ‘THE ME I WANT TO BE’ which is based on, by John Ortberg.
These will be available each week to collect.
The ‘Partcipant’s Guide’ is £6.99 but we are happy to give them free.
The BOOK is £9.99 so we would just leave it with you if you want to contribute whatever in the offering plates.
May we all feel we will becoming ‘GOD’S BEST VERSION OF YOU’.