As you will be aware our government issued new guidelines around ‘social gatherings’ last night. Senior staff met today to consider the implications of these for Wycliffe and with immediate effect, we will be stopping all four services on Sundays for the foreseeable future. The Chinese Church, Nepali Church and Africa Fellowship will also be stopping meeting.
We have been guided by clear advice from the Baptist Union on this.
We don’t know what ‘foreseeable future’ really means but we should be thinking in terms of many weeks and as we journey together we will form clearer views of when people may be advised it is all right to meet again.
While it won’t be possible to meet physically together over this difficult time, it is even more important that we continue to act together as a church family in unity.
We will start live streaming a service each Sunday at 10.45am over the internet, starting from this week.
We will be in touch later this week with a link to follow to access the live stream. The service will also be available afterwards on the website.
We will also be supporting our children and youth in a variety of ways and we will communicate separately about this.
We will be in touch with you over the coming days with details of how we can stay connected with each other, pray for each other and support each other practically. We will be especially bearing in mind those in our fellowship who don’ t have access to the internet and those who are over 70. In the meantime do contact the church office if you have an immediate need that we can help with.
Please, do make it a priority for you and your whole family to join us via the live stream this Sunday – a collective act of worship together will be God honouring and good for all our souls.
On 17th March, Rev Lynn Green, General Secretary of the Baptist Union hosted a live national prayer broadcast.
Visit https://www.baptist.org.uk/Group/Group.aspx?ID=337630 for the Baptist Union Corona Virus advice for churches.
Visit https://www.baptist.org.uk/Articles/569162/Prayer_broadcast_17.aspx for the national prayer broadcast.
If you need support now, or you find that you need support in the future please get in touch with the church office. Many of our Church family have already said they are happy to help as need arises and in God’s strength, as a church family together, we can face all that comes our way.
For those of you who can offer help we would love to hear from you. At present there are 3 discrete ways you could be involved:
We will circulate, with permission, any coronavirus related prayer requests to our church family so we can all be praying.
ii) Phone Bank
When the virus hits its peak our most vulnerable church family won’t be able to leave their homes, and some may already have made that decision. We would like to ensure that they have some regular social contact by phone and also are generally checked on. Join the phone bank and be allocated someone to keep in touch with.
Delivering food to doorsteps etc
Please get in touch with the church office if you are interested in being involved. At present the need is low, but as we move further in to this period of uncertainty we want to be prepared.
We can help those in our wider community in a variety of ways practical and spiritual.
These are difficult times, but God is in control. We have a glorious hope and if we can pass on our hope to friends and neighbours, whether by practical offers of help, by offering to pray or by not being drawn into negative or fearful conversations, then God starts to triumph in difficulty.
Church members will be aware that the AGM is on 26th March at 7.45pm. There are a number of important items at this meeting that require us to be quorate. We will be considering this further and will update members when possible.
As Christians, we must pray – it is our first response to this situation.
Please pray for our church family as we work out together how to respond at Wycliffe.
Please pray for world governments as they deal with this virus.
Please pray for those countries most affected – China, Italy, South Korea, Spain and others.
Please pray for those many people who only just survived day to day before this virus started and who face economic ruin now due to their income drying up – e.g. in Thailand, as tourist numbers fall drastically.
Please pray for those we know in front line health positions as they take the lead in dealing with the effects of coronavirus.
Please pray for God‘s hope to shine through a dark situation.
Thank you for standing with us in this, we look forward to seeing you on Sunday, and we leave you with this verse for your encouragement and challenge:
‘Praise be to God, who always leads us in triumph, and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.’
2nd Corinthians Ch. 2 vs. 14