17th March 2020
The leadership team met on Monday evening to consider the appropriate actions that we should take with regards to the government news briefing on Covid19, and there are a number of decisions that we feel we have to make immediately.
Firstly, we want to encourage everybody to consider their own situation and pay attention to the advice given by the government about ‘At Risk’ groups, Self-Isolation and non-essential social gatherings. Although the Pastoral Team will be asked not to make home visits at this time, we will be encouraging them, and indeed the whole fellowship to consider those who may find themselves stuck at home, lonely and worried. This might be by telephone or social media and will be a very important way of us keeping in touch and looking after each other.
Secondly, based on the government advice regarding social gatherings, and further advice received this morning from the Baptist Union of Great Britain, we have taken the decision to suspend all gatherings in the church building, including Sunday Morning Services.
Compass Café, Messy Church, The Hub and The Holiday Club will be suspended with immediate effect., as will Prayer Gatherings and Sunday Sanctuary. We are also suspending House Group meetings until further notice.
Having taken the difficult decision to suspend Sunday Morning Services we will be working hard to provide alternative resources for people to use at home. We hope that these will include a recorded message, prayer points and some elements of worship accessible online on Sunday mornings. We will also recommend other sources of devotional and worship materials and will provide materials for the children and young people in the fellowship.
Thirdly, we will be working with other groups in the village to provide prayer and practical support to those who need it and will let you know more about what we are doing and how you might be able to help as this evolves.
For your information – The other groups who use the church building – Swavesey Guides, Escential Fitness, Mums and Toddlers, and Dance in Line are all suspending their groups from this week.
Finally, we do want to encourage you all to remain prayerful in this situation. We have a God who is above all things and in whom we can trust, no matter what the situation. Please pray for those in the fellowship who will be self-isolating, for those who may already be dealing with the virus or who may get it. Please pray for the community and for the opportunity not just to help practically but to share what it is that we believe and to demonstrate what it means to trust in God. Please pray for the leadership team as they seek to make the most appropriate decisions moving forwards.
If you have any concerns or questions, or if you need any kind of practical help or would like to ask for prayers, please do not hesitate to get in touch with David, one of the deacons or Wendy Snead.
We understand right now that there is a lot of uncertainty, so at Bethel we want to be clear about what you can expect over the coming weeks. Due to the unpredictable nature of what we are going through this can and will change but we will endeavour to update you as quickly as possible when these changes occur.
Song of The Day – each morning we will post a Song of the Day, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions.
Sunday Service – on Sundays the weeks Sermon (10.45am) and Marianne’s Children’s Talk (10.30am) will be live on Facebook. There will also be links to youtube emailed out that morning.
Sunday School – each week Sunday School will be sent out on Friday to give you chance to prepare.
External Resources – we will send out as much information as possible about external resources that you can use to draw closer to God at this uncertain time.
Zoom – a planner will be sent out internally each week detailing times for Prayer, Kids, Ladies & Men’s gatherings, along with daily drop in sessions and our weekly quiz.