Coronavirus & COVID-19

Dear Church,

The Leadership have discussed at length how to manage our response to the coronavirus crisis.

In summary, all meetings and activities at the Church are suspended until further notice, but we are currently encouraging Life Groups to continue to meet where possible at the discretion of the group, and we will shortly be introducing measures to provide pastoral and practical support to those in particular need at this difficult time.

Children’s and Youth Ministries

Although you will be aware that schools are still open at the moment, due to current constraints we do not expect to be in a position to safely staff our activities for children and youth. For this reason, all these ministries will also be suspended with immediate effect. We plan to review this at the end of the Easter holiday period. In the meantime, our Pastors are working hard on ways to use technology to continue to keep in touch with and disciple the children and young people under their care, so look out for more information about this.

We anticipate that the Youth Activity Weekend Away will go ahead as scheduled, and bookings are still open.

Sunday Services

In accordance with the latest advice issued by the Government, our Sunday services will be suspended until further notice. Our intent is to use our existing systems to broadcast the content of a normal Sunday service via the Churches YouTube Channel (Search “Gorsley Baptist Church”), and we would encourage all members of the congregation to join us online!

Our hope is to build on this over the coming weeks by providing Bible studies and similar ministries from our Pastors and other leaders during this challenging time.

We’re aware that a small number of our congregation may not have access to a computer or the internet, and we are actively exploring solutions to support these individuals.

Life Groups

We are very aware of current guidance to avoid unnecessary social interaction.

Our view is that Life Groups are essential to the continued well-being of our Church community during this difficult time; we are mindful of Hebrews 10:25 (“do not give up meeting together”) and we believe that these groups are likely to prove to be crucial to the continuation of our fellowship and our witness to the community.

We have therefore taken the decision not to advise Life Groups to close at this time, and we recommend that Life Group Leaders should discuss with their groups and determine the most appropriate solution for their group, with particular consideration for those at higher risk due to their age or existing medical conditions.

Life Groups may wish to consider meeting on Sunday mornings to share in the online broadcast of the service together.

Obviously, those who are self-isolating in accordance with current advice or who are unwell must not attend any group until clear to do so. We would encourage leaders and members of Life Groups to make every effort to maintain contact with anyone in isolation by phone, text message, email or social media.

Joseph

The much-anticipated community performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has been postponed and is now likely to take place in late September or early October. Purchased tickets will be automatically moved to the new dates and can then be amended or cancelled in accordance with the original terms and conditions. Please be patient as we will provide further details as soon as we can.

Wildfires

Unfortunately, Wildfires 2020 has been cancelled, and the planned Church trip will therefore not be going ahead. We will explore possible future alternatives in due course.

Funerals

We are aware that it may become necessary to conduct funerals during the coming weeks while restrictions on meeting together are still in force. Sadly, in accordance with current guidance, we will be required to limit attendance at any such services or internments to immediate family and close friends. There will unfortunately be no catering provision possible.

We recognise that this will be very distressing for bereaved families at an enormously difficult time, and for those that wish, we will seek to hold services of memorial and thanksgiving once we are able to gather again as a fellowship.

Church Office

In accordance with current advice, our Church staff will be working from home as much as practically possible, so electronic communication should continue as usual and we will make arrangements for the Church telephone numbers to be diverted as necessary. The main Church telephone number will be used as a primary means of contact for those needing pastoral or practical support and we ask that all contact is channelled via the office.

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Have a question? We would love to hear from you.