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Corona Virus – Billericay Methodist Church now includes the work and witness of St Andrew’s Methodist Church as well as that of Western Road and Queens Park. The following information relates to all three sites:
GENERAL APPROACH – We will remain aware of all guidelines issued by the government, NHS and church authorities, applying them as best as we can to each local situation and event. The original guidelines (16th March) meant that the vast majority of church groups and activities ceased in line with the instruction to limit social interaction and protect the most vulnerable from the spread of the disease. The latest guidelines issued in the w/b 10th May do not alter that situation, and so we continue as before, and as described below.
WORSHIP – No services will be held at Western Road, Queens Park or St. Andrews, Herongate until further notice. A wide and ever growing set of resources for personal worship and prayer, including those for all age worship are available Here.
There are also resources available now for for Learning Together about Jesus, Fun Together, and special resources for the major festivals such as Easter and Pentecost. – all of which are accessible from the Home Page banners.
PASTORAL CARE – We have established a corona virus pastoral list (in line with our GDPR protocols), which is held by Lyn Bowditch, of those who have notified us that they are self-isolating or infected, for the purposes of prayer, and practical support as needed/possible. A similar pattern of care has been organised for those from St Andrew’s coordinated by Julie Cristin. All those needing pastoral help need to first ask for help via email or telephone to Lyn Bowditch or Julie Cristin, who will then share that need with those who may be able to offer assistance. The Minister, Lyn and Julie will confer regularly to monitor the church’s pastoral response.
KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH EACH OTHER – We will use the BMC church website to give updates on all changes to the above. If you are not currently in the directory or do not have an email but would still like to receive this material, please contact Ann Bagwell with your details. We intend to deliver hard copies each week as time and volunteers permit, as well as links to our online resources.Weekly we make available a pdf and hard copy of Connecting with Each Other (CWEO), video clips by the minister and others, and Hard copy and online worship resources from The Vine or local sources – see latest notices and Worshipping Together pages and links from the Home Page to access these.
Zoom conferencing is in use for key church meetings and smaller groups meeting for fellowship and support.
Dear Friends – alongside all these practical steps which are designed to keep each other as safe and as healthy as we can, and alongside the constant stream of worrying news and images on our TV screens do not forget the ‘Love of God as shown to us in Jesus’. A love that Paul says lasts forever and never fails, a love that is patient and kind. We are going to need that kind of love and others are going to need us to share it, in the coming days and weeks and months. Pray in Love for that Love, both for those around you and for yourself. Love your neighbour and love yourself and you will know the Love of God, which is stronger than anything…. even this virus.
What we know is only partial but ‘these three remain: faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love’ – 1 Corinthians 13:13 (GNB)
With our prayers and love,
A Prayer by the President of the Conference:
If we are ill, strengthen us
If we are tired, fortify our spirits
If we are anxious, help us to consider the lilies of the field and the birds of the air.
Help us not to stockpile treasures from supermarkets in the barns of our larders!
Don’t let fear cause us to overlook the needs of others more vulnerable than ourselves.
Fix our eyes on your story and our hearts on your grace.
Help us always to hold fast to the good and see the good in others.
And remember there is just one world, one hope,
One everlasting love, with baskets of bread for everyone.
In Jesus we make our prayer,
The one who suffered, died and was raised to new life,
In whom we trust, these days and all days. Amen
A Prayer for those in self-isolation
God of all hope we call on you today.
We pray for those who are living in fear:
Fear of illness, fear for loved ones, fear of other’s reactions to them.
May your Spirit give us a sense of calmness and peace.
We pray for your church in this time of uncertainty.
For those people whose movements are going to be restricted for considerable time and who are worried about feeling isolated and for those needing to make decisions in order to care for others. As we seek to help out in different ways, grant us your wisdom and your strength to do what we can.
Holy God, we remember that you have promised that
Nothing will separate us from your love – demonstrated to us in Jesus Christ.
Help us turn our eyes, hearts and minds to you.