From Melvin, 17th March 2020

My dear friends,

Many of you will be aware that the situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly changing. Yesterday in parliament the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, made it clear that sadly, the meeting of religious groups constituted social contact which could and should be avoided. As Christians we wish to act responsibly in accordance with the direction of our Government and for the well-being of our neighbour. And so we have taken the decision to cancel all church meetings from Wednesday 18th March until we receive further direction. This will include all our smaller gatherings - children’s groups, homegroups, mid-week meetings and Sunday services.

However, plans are now being put in place to ensure that our Christian ministry to each other and the wider world can continue, including pastoral support. These include, amongst other things:

- Live streaming of specially devised services at 10.30am and repeated at 6.30pm

- Special teaching material for children and young people

- Regular prayer updates and Bible meditations to use privately or as families

Shirley Godbold, our administrator is the central point of contact for church's COVID-19 support, and we would ask you to contact her to let her know points for prayer or particular needs with which we may be able to help. The number is: 01482-343658. If you get the answering machine, please leave a message.

Geoff Waring and his team will be in special contact with our senior members in order to offer care and support. We will keep you regularly updated with any further developments and we would hope to achieve ‘normality’ as soon as possible.

In such a time like this let us remember the words of the apostle Paul: ‘Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need.’ Romans 10:12-13.

With every blessing and prayer,

Your friend and minister,

Melvin Tinker