Coronavirus Update


On behalf of the Church Eldership, I am writing to you to wish you a very happy New Year and to give you a little update on our COVID-19 measures, all of them, designed to keep you safe. As you know, on Monday the 4th of January, the Prime Minister announced the third lockdown in the UK. I do not think it took any of us by surprise, but it did leave a great deal of us, feeling vulnerable and frightened by the news of a new variant to the original virus, one that was more transmissible.

The UK Government announced that places of worship could remain open, subject to restrictions on numbers attending corporate worship. For us, that would represent around thirty people in any one service. As you are aware, we did open for an in-person service in December. Twenty-three people attended, all wearing masks, socially distanced, and not allowed to mix socially with anyone outside of their household.

Steven Riley, professor of infectious disease dynamics at Imperial College London and a member of the government’s Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M) has said:

“If we are ever going to protect our family, friends, and colleagues by behaving as if we have the virus, the time is now,” he added, “Government data shows the number of people being treated in UK hospitals with coronavirus now exceeds that from the first wave, more than 30,000 compared with a peak of 21,684 in April.”

Considering these figures, we have taken the tough decision to keep our buildings closed for the foreseeable future. This has not been an easy decision to make, but we feel it is a necessary decision, not only to keep you safe but also to demonstrate solidarity with our community which is being asked to make all kinds of sacrifices.

Having said all that I have, I want to finish with something positive.

In the first century, Paul wrote to the early church in Rome, a vulnerable community at threat of persecution and hardship: “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

We must remember in all of this that Jesus promised that he is always with us. We turn to him in prayer as we face the storm, and he called us to be the Body of Christ in our world today. Today Jesus is working through his people to calm the storm of COVID-19 – through our words and actions.


Rev Neil Bennett
Church Minister