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Coronavirus statement No. 2 - 24th March

In light of the Prime Minister’s statement last night my previous statement on our response to Coronavirus is now out of date. I have set out the current position below:

· Revd. Ian Wallace will be co-ordinating all our responses during the coming week unless he succumbs to the virus, in which case his place will be taken by Revd, Hywel Snook. If he also falls ill at the same time Revd. Gail Thomas will take charge.

· All our church buildings are now closed and the heating has been turned off to minimise costs.

· The Home Page of our website continues to give the latest Coronavirus update. This remains our principal way of communicating with the Parish, together with our Facebook page. We aim to add content to this page on a daily basis and it will also provide a link to recorded services. The website also contains a link to the Facebook page which you can access regardless of whether you are a Facebook user or not.

· We will continue to live-stream a service every Sunday morning from one of our homes.  I have asked Revd. Hywel Snook to lead this Sunday but others will take the lead in coming weeks as we learn the procedure for doing it.  

· We will also continue to record Praise & Play/ Little Sparks in our homes so that a recording can be put out each week.  

· Before the lock-down happened, we had recorded the saying of Compline which will now be posted on the website and I am going to suggest that each evening at 8pm we light a candle in our window and pray for our nation together using the words of the Compline service - it takes just over 5 minutes.  We are also looking at recording Morning Prayer for people to use in the morning – Revd. Gail Thomas successfully recorded it from home this morning

· Our Parish Office and the St. Nicholas Family Centre office are closed. The Parish Administrator and the St. Nicholas Family Centre Administrator will be working from home – if you need to contact them you can do so by e-mail but please only contact them if it is absolutely necessary.

· I will continue to connect with the Ministry Team weekly using video conferencing, and will also link with the PCC meeting in this way on 30th March.

· We will be adding the facility to donate to the Parish through our website to enable those who are not part of the Parish Giving Scheme to continue to support the life of the four churches financially

· We have been working with Yate Town Council to set up a registered support network for those who urgently need shopping but are housebound. Further details will be published later in the week.

· Our Small Groups leaders are exploring how to meet virtually using video conferencing (e.g. Skype, Hangouts, Zoom, Facetime. In addition, materials for continuing with our Lent Course based on the book Saying Yes to Lifewill be published on the Coronavirus update page on the website so that everyone can continue with the course. We will also publish a link to the relevant video for the week.

· The Ministry Team have all been allocated a list of Parishioners to keep in touch with during this season. Where we have a telephone number this will involve phoning regularly to check on any pastoral needs and provide any assistance that we are able to provide given the current limitations.

· We have a number of church members who are key NHS staff – please continue to hold them in your prayers.

· We will be publishing a revised form of the April Magazine. This will be made available through our website.

· St. Mary's School is continuing to operate on a much-reduced staff for key workers. Please remember the teaching staff in your prayers.

As God’s family in this place, let us hold on to the hope that comes from him:

I lift up my eyes to the hills— from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth

  …..he who keeps you will not slumber.

The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.   (from Psalm 121)

Keep trusting and praying – your prayers are part of the rescue operation.

Ian Wallace

Tuesday 24th March, 12 noon


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