Yate Parish Statement on Coronavirus (This Statement is outdated following further announcements)
In accordance with the recommendations received from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York all public worship within Yate Parish has been suspended until further notice. However, that does not mean that the work of God’s people within the Parish will not continue as far as it is able to. In particular, we are planning the following as ways to keep the work of the church alive:
· 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.
· St. Mary’s, St. Nix and St. James will remain open during daylight hours for prayer. We will be establishing a prayer area in each of these churches with prayer resources focused on the efforts to combat the Coronavirus where people can go for quietness and prayer when they are out exercising.
· The Home Page of our website now has a link to a Coronavirus update which will become our principal way of communicating with the Parish. We will aim to refresh this page at least three times a week and it will also provide a link to recorded services. It is here that we will broadcast when we are allowed to resume normal services. You will be able to use this page to link to recorded services regardless of whether you are a Facebook user or not. We will also be posting regular updates on our Facebook page.
· A small representative group of Ministry Team members will meet together each morning for Daily Prayer to hold the needs of the people of the Parish before God. We will also publish Daily Prayer material on our website for people to access from home and we are exploring the possibility of live-streaming a short daily service.
· A small group of Ministry Team members will continue to conduct one Sunday Communion service each week at St. Mary’s and will live-stream this service via Facebook. A recording of the service will also be made which will be posted on the Coronavirus update page by 1pm on the Sunday when it is recorded so that it can be viewed at home by those who are unable to access the live-stream on Facebook.
· Each week we will publish a link to a new Praise & Play/ Little Sparksservice that can be viewed at home from our website.
· Our Small Groups will not be able to meet physically, but the leaders will be encouraged to explore how to meet virtually using video conferencing (e.g. Skype, Hangouts, Zoom, Facetime). Instructions on how this can be done will be issued shortly. In addition, materials for continuing with our Lent Course based on the book Saying Yes to Life will 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 will be publishing a revised form of the April Magazine. This will be made available through our website and there will be copies in St. Mary’s, St. James and St. Nix that can be collected.
· Church members are encouraged to remain sensitive to the needs of those around them and particularly the old and vulnerable. If you are able to act as a co-ordinator for the needs of those within your street/ neighbourhood then we would strongly encourage you to do so, but please let Revd. Hywel Snook know if you are doing this. We are working with Yate Town Council to establish a regulated care network and particularly need to hear from those who have a current DBS certificate (preferably enhanced). Ideas of how community support can be provided safely will be published on our Coronavirus update page. There is a lot that can be achieved using e-mails, text messaging and phone-calls.
Above all we would like to encourage you to remain hopefully and to place your confidence in God, the Father of compassion and of all comfort, who will bring us through this. When writing to the church in Corinth St. Paul says
“We felt like we’d been sent to death row, that it was all over for us. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally—not a bad idea since he’s the God who raises the dead! And he did it, rescued us from certain doom. And he’ll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing. You and your prayers are part of the rescue operation…” (2 Corinthians 1: 9-11 The Message)
Keep trusting and praying – your prayers are part of the rescue operation.
Wednesday 18th March, 12 noon