Message from the Revd Paul Wood | Interim Director of the Ministries Team | Ministries:
Vocations and Worship
All Church Buildings to close, please.
The Methodist Church is announcing a closure of all its church buildings for the foreseeable future. The only exception will be for churches that are offering essential social outreach such as foodbanks, soup kitchens and night shelters, but these must be carried out closely within Government guidelines. The Methodist Church suspended worship services last week with some churches still opening for quiet prayer and reflection. This must now also be suspended. We would encourage people to use our online resources at home which include downloadable services and links to online worship services.
The Revd Dr Jonathan Hustler, Secretary of the Conference said: “We are asking people to change their way of ‘going to church’ to help to protect themselves and others. We have put in place measures that will enable Methodists still to be part of the worshipping community, whilst for everyone’s sake staying away from church buildings. There is a range of resources available for people to use at home which we hope will help them to continue their cycle of prayer and worship. The Methodist Church is more than its buildings and if in these unprecedented times we can continue our life as Methodists without using our buildings we will help to reduce the chances of transmission of the virus.”
If you are running a foodbank or soup kitchen we would urge you to seek advice on how to operate as safely as possible from central bodies such as the Trussell Trust or IFAN. In the first instance ensure that those at high risk are not volunteering and put at risk, minimise contact and observe social distancing, ensure people do not remain on the premises but take food away quickly and think through all your processes to minimise all unnecessary person to person contact. There should be no-one on the premises who doesn’t need to be there.
If you’re running a night shelter, there is advice available here:
Call to Prayer
Dear friends, greetings to you all and I hope we
all are well?
I am aware that during this difficult time we all
are one in this journey, for some it is a painful separation from families and
friends and for all of us it is a new challenge to adopt a new way of
living in order to re-build our lives together.
It is my prayer that whatever our circumstance, that
we all may find time to reflect on all that has been happening around the world
and here at our doors. May I request you all to dedicate ONE HOUR OF PRAYER
every day to cry before God Almighty to deal with the C19.
God Bless You
You can download a call to home hour of prayer here.
There are also free CPO (Christian Publishing Office) Self isolating support leaflets available to download if you know anyone who might need these click here.
We continue to update the Methodist Church Website https://www.methodist.org.uk/ there you will find resources for home worship and links to live streaming. We are happy to receive requests for prayer, prayer and worship resources and details of online streaming. Please send them to email@example.com
Worship during coronavirus poster We have partnered with Christian Publishing & Outreach (CPO) to make available two completely FREE posters to help your Methodist churches inform their local community about worship arrangements during the coronavirus. These posters are available to order as full colour, A2 copies from CPO. One has an editable text space for you to add the details of your church, circuit or district website as appropriate before ordering and printing. Go to:www.cpo.org.uk/MethodistC19 You can also find these posters from the CPO home page under coronavirus resources. Alternatively, for smaller copies, or while waiting on delivery of the larger posters, you can download both posters from the Methodist Church website in colour or printer-friendly black & white at: www.methodist.org.uk/worship-during-coronavirus/
We received more guidance from Birmingham District Office, as the corona virus restrictions continue:
1. for ministers who may be less familiar with safeguarding and using social media, click here
2. guidance for (vulnerable) adults who may be less familiar with going online, click here
3. updated the visiting guidance with new information about cash payments that can be arranged via the post office ‘Pay Now’ scheme, click here
The guidance documents are attached and also can be found on the website: https://www.methodist.org.uk/about-us/coronavirus/safeguarding-considerations/