With government restrictions on gatherings now lifted, we are committed to trying to make it possible for everyone to join us at church each week over the summer period in our temporary venues before we start meeting in our new building from Sunday 5th September. So here’s what to expect at 9am/10.45am/4pm in Wimbledon Chase School and 6.30pm at St Andrews from Sunday July 25 to August 29th.
We are very conscious that even with the lifting of restrictions these are still very difficult times for many and that our church family encompasses a wide range of personal circumstances, anxieties and opinions. Under God and his Word, we recognise it would be unloving to impose rules where there is now legal and Christian freedom. So we do want to encourage those who are able to sing to do so without requiring masks. However, out of concern for the welfare of those who are vulnerable or anxious, various safety measures will be maintained as outlined below including hand sanitiser, social distanced areas and good ventilation, and those wishing still to wear masks or maintain social distancing (whether for their own sake or for others who may be vulnerable or anxious) are most welcome to do so. Stewards will show you to an appropriate seating section so that those who feel more comfortable social distanced and wearing a mask can sit at the back of the hall in Wimbledon Chase or St Andrew’s in a ventilated and socially distanced area and those who would like to sing are at the front singing forward so that those who are vulnerable are behind those who are singing.
We want everyone to feel welcome.
For those still currently unable to return to church, we want you to know that we miss you and want to know if there are ways in which we can support you, and long for the day when you can safely return and praise God freely together. We are very sorry indeed that we are unable to provide a live-streaming service during this summer period, which we know is a great disappointment for some. We hope to resume live-streaming when we are in our new building. In the meantime, we aim to continue making the audio recordings of our sermons available each week through the church email.
From 19th July “face coverings are no longer required by law in any setting.” Those wishing to continue wearing masks (whether for personal reasons or to support others who may feel anxious) are welcome to do so. We are also aware that others have found mandatory mask-wearing these past 15 months a source of great difficulty and pain. We really do have church members with strong anxieties and opinions at both ends of this spectrum. While we may struggle to understand the perspectives of those who approach this differently, we must avoid imposing rules upon each other’s consciences in matters of legal and Christian freedom. Moreover, let us strive to bear with and love one another across our differences (rather than assume bad motives on either side). As such, neither those who wear a mask, nor those who don’t, will be challenged or shamed for their choices – all are warmly welcome to return to church!
2. Ongoing safety provision
Though “legal requirements for social distancing will no longer apply,” for those wishing still to observe social distancing and wear masks, we will keep a section of designated distanced seating. And we will still provide hand gel, maximal ventilation and various safety protocols in line with our risk assessments.
“There will no longer be limits on the number of people who can sing indoors or outdoors. This includes indoor congregational and communal singing.” So we can gladly resume congregational singing – in line with the clear biblical expectation.
4. For those shielding
We grieve and lament that those with ongoing clinical vulnerability are unable to gather at church. We love you dearly and miss you terribly. And long for the day when we can all gather together again in worship. Until then, we join our hearts in prayer and dependence upon the Lord who hears our cries, knows our pain and whose steadfast love endures forever.
We are very sorry indeed that we are unable to provide a live-streaming service during this summer period, which we know is a great disappointment for some, especially those who are self-isolating. God-willing, we hope to resume live-streaming when we are in our new building. In the meantime, we aim to continue making the audio recordings of our sermons available each week through the church email.
This will clearly be another challenging season of life for our church family and our local community, but also one full of exciting potential as, God-willing we move into our new building and welcome our community to visit and hear the wonderful news of Christ crucified and risen. We want our gatherings to be filled with the truth, joy and hope of the Christian gospel. May our prayers, praise and proclamation of Christ bring encouragement to weary believers, cheerful witness to our community and, above all, glory to God.
Please don’t hesitate to be in touch with questions or concerns.
“Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD my soul, and forget not all his benefits” Psalm 103:1-2
30th July 2021