15 March 2020
Statement on the Coronavirus outbreak.
The news is changing every day on the Coronavirus. Although numbers are still relatively small, and as I write there are no cases of the virus in Derby itself this could change any day leading to widespread illness in weeks to come. Therefore as a church we are following recommended procedures from Government and the Baptists Together Website and are implementing the following protocols for now. Should anything change we will let people know by email or letter (or phone call if short notice).
Please follow Government guidelines on good hygiene practice:
- carrying tissues and using them to catch coughs and sneezes, and binning the tissue;
- Washing hands with soap and water (for 20 seconds) or using sanitiser gel to kill germs.
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- If you feel unwell, even mildly, please stay at home.
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Those who have travelled back from a high-risk area (as defined by the UK Government at that time) should self-isolate.
- There is no advice about gatherings of our size and therefore church services etc. will continue as usual.
- We will restrict physical contact until the outbreak has passed. In particular, those who greet on entry and exit from church will be instructed not to shake hands or offer hugs.
- Communion will be operated as usual, but there will also be pre-cut cubes of bread on the plates in order to avoid handling by multiple people. Those preparing, leading and serving will wash hands with soap or gel before touching anything. If however, anyone is uncomfortable with taking bread, you are welcome just to take the cup. While we don’t always share the peace, we will not be sharing the peace for the immediate future.
- We are waiting on delivery of sanitiser gel which will be available at the front entrances of the church and if possible, in all the meeting rooms.
- In addition to our normal cleaning and hygiene procedures, we will wipe all door handles and light switches with disinfectant at the start of each day and will be asking users to wipe them after use and wipe down any surfaces used with antibacterial spray.
- We urge members of the church family who self-isolate to let us know this, so that we can find ways of offering appropriate pastoral care during this time.
- Should anyone be concerned or concerned about others, please let Rashell or Jane know.
- For any other ‘non-Corona virus’ pastoral needs, Rashell and Jane are available as usual.
- Please do look out for one another and if you would like to be available to help with small errands for anyone who is in isolation, please let Rashell know (there will be no face to face contact or physical exchange of money involved for shopping or prescriptions).
How can we respond to this outbreak in a Christ-like way? I’m grateful for the level-headed attitudes but we should bear in mind that taking sensible precautions is not principally an act of self-protection, but an act of loving one another in protecting others who are at risk in our congregation and our community. We should continue to be open-hearted and attentive to the lonely, the vulnerable and the anxious, both within the church and beyond. Above all, we will face the future (which is always uncertain) with courage and faith in God. Clean hands, open hearts!
‘God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea…
10 …He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46)
Let’s continue to pray for all our sisters and brothers across the world who have been, and are continuing to be, affected by COVID-19. We pray that all will know God’s overwhelming, steadfast love. Lord of comfort and peace, we pray for those who are particularly fearful at moment: those living in coronavirus hotspots and those living in isolation, those fearful of what may happen, those fearful among those we know. We pray for the most vulnerable and isolated in our neighborhoods, help us to be aware of them, to support in the ways we are able. For those who are grieving, may they know your comfort in their loss and your hope in their despair. We pray for those known to us. We pray for the medical staff on the front line of care, we pray for resilience in their weariness, resources within and without. We pray for the support staff – cleaners, porters, admin as they too step up to meet the task in hand, for our local GP surgeries, pharmacies and carers: that they will be sustained physically, emotionally and spiritually in the coming weeks. In particular we pray for: We pray for all those leading the response to COVID-19 across the world – the World Health Organisation and world leaders. We pray for our local leaders too: heads of schools, hospitals, council and other institutions. For those responding on the front line… We pray too for the businesses in our city: from the small local ones… to the largest: Rolls Royce, Bombardier, Toyota, JCB amongst others. We pray for the prosperity of our city in this time of economic uncertainty…
We acknowledge the Lord’s sovereignty in and through all things and pray using the words of Paul to the church in Ephesus:
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever.
Every Sunday morning at 10am
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2nd Sunday - Messy Church 4.30pm