This weeks news letter from Steve
Friday 26th February 2021
I know this time .. this latest lockdown … has probably been the most difficult one to date. And to add to not seeing our family and friends we haven’t been able to worship in church either.
However … there is light at the end of the tunnel … the government has produced its plan for the easing of restrictions in the coming months, vaccinations are being rolled out, and our church too is planning re-opening for worship.
Our PCC has decided that we will re-open for worship on Sunday 21st March unless something significant comes out from the government or church to prevent this. This is great because it mean we can be open for Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday too … all of which were online rather than in church last year.
While this is great news the context in Bury is that the rate of infection is on the increase and is significantly higher than other authorities in region and for the whole of England. It is also the case that while many members of our church family will have had their first vaccinations by the time we re-open this does not mean that we can become more relaxed about taking care for one another.
When we re-open we will have a revised risk assessment which will still require those attending worship to maintain social distancing, wear masks, stay in their bubbles, use gel on their hands and not to socialise in church or in the car park.
In addition, when we re-open, given we are coming to significant days in the church calendar people, people will be required to book a place in church prior to coming along (something many churches have been doing since early last year). This will help us ensure we only have the number of people in church that we can safely accommodate. More information will be shared about this in the next week or two.
Also when people arrive at church they will be shown straight to their seats so that there is no congregating around the entrance, and we will leave the church building in an orderly fashion after the service … with each row leaving one at a time.
A significant number of our church family have recently received letters asking them to continue or begin to shield. The current advice from the Church of England is that those shielding should not currently attend worship.
For the time being there will still be no time of fellowship before the service and there will be no singing during the service there may still be music elements during the service.
Some members of our church family will also not feel ready to attend worship in church for a variety of reasons. With this in mind we will live stream services from church as we have in the past. We are very much aware that the quality of the live streams leaves much to be desired. However, I can assure you that with our current technology and knowledge we are doing the best we can.
And at this point can I say thank you to our fantastic Wardens, Pat & Nicola, and Sidespeople who have been brilliant during the pandemic in ensuring our building is as safe as it can be for those attending worship on a Sunday.
I would also like to thank all the members of our church family who have adapted their ministries to accommodate the need to go online … I am particularly thinking about those of you who have been leading and preaching at our online services, those of you who have been leading our 10 Minutes with God, and Steph who has been ‘doing’ Baby & Toddler Group and Wiggle Worship online every week too. You have all been doing a sterling job … thank you.
This Sunday’s Morning Worship Online will include Frank leading us in prayer, the Bible read by Steph and on video and I’ll be considering why Jesus had to die on the cross .. a question those who don’t follow Jesus ask, as well as many of us who have followed Jesus for years. The service includes two songs: ‘My Jesus, my Saviour’ and ‘How great thou art’. I do hope you can join us at 11am Sunday morning here on You Tube:
Or via a link on our website here:
on our Face Book page: https://www.facebook.com/WalshawChurch
or Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/WalshawChurch
We continue to try and serve our community in various ways including by collecting food for Porch Boxes food bank. During the latest lockdown, to date, around 60 bags of food have been donated to Porch Boxes.
Please continue to help some of the most vulnerable people in Bury by being generous in your giving.
While church is closed for worship you can drop off your donations at the vicarage: 37 Gisburn Drive, Walshaw BL8 3DH (0161 797 5121). Once church has re-opened you will be able to drop your donations there on a Sunday morning if you are attending worship.
Continuing to grow during lent
As you know there are lots of resources available on our website to help you to reflect, pray and give during Lent … on our Lent 2021 page here: https://www.christchurch-walshaw.co.uk/lent-2021
If you haven’t yet had a look can I encourage you to do so.
Going Deeper Video
Tim Keller - Human Race: The Pursuit of More?
Continuing our series of talks this second talk is about what we chase after … happiness and satisfaction.
Are you happy with life? Are you satisfied? Are you content? What do all these things really mean?
In this talk Tim explores our desire for things which make us happy with the help of a reading from ‘Mark 2’ and he asks the questions …
- What are we looking for?
- How are we looking for it?
- Where can we find it?
The videos, while part of a series of five, can be watched as stand alone teaching.
I cannot recommend these videos strongly enough … they are challenging, encouraging, easy to follow … and Tim’s delivery is so warm and friendly.
10 Minutes with God: 7.30pm online on Tuesday evening
While Jesus tells us “where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” I am so encouraged by the number of folk from our church and community who have been joining us for 10 minutes of prayer these last few weeks … 10 minutes of prayer led by a different member of our church family each week.
Our next prayer time, I’ll be leading us as we pray for
those working for peace and reconciliation in the world,
those helping people living in poor countries,
those helping people in financial difficulties in Bury, and
those sharing God’s word in the UK and around the world
besides those we love and care and those who are sick and mourning.
I do hope you will be able to join us here: https://youtu.be/rHrcEsFi__w
or with the links on our Face Book, Twitter pages and our Lent 2021 page on our website.
Wiggle Worship Online
Next week Wiggle & Steph will be leading us in action prayer and songs and will be sharing Part 1 of the story of Joseph … again with actions too. Smashing way for families with little ones to worship and have fun at the same time. The video, which is 10 minutes long, is on You Tube and the notes have a link to another song too. Join Wiggle Worship here:
Finally please continue to care for one another with telephone calls and by keeping one another in your prayers.
Stay safe everyone