Impact Report 2019/20
On Monday 16th March the Government announced radical new measures to slow the spread of the Coranavirus and prevent a massive peak in cases that would overwhelm the NHS. The new advice includes:
- Stop all non-essential social contact and stop going to places with a high concentration of people such as pubs or cinemas
- Avoid using public transport as much as possible
- Work from home if you can
- Anyone living in a household with somebody who has either a persistent cough or fever must now also isolate themselves for 14 days.
Unfortunately, this means there will be significant changes to how we interact as a fellowship and many of our activities, meetings and services will be affected.
In the light of the new Government advice we've made the decision to suspend Sunday worship and other meetings and events on church premises until further notice. We need to play our full part, along with the whole community, in reducing the rate of infection. At this moment, this is what it means to love our neighbours as ourselves.
This decision will be upsetting and difficult to accept for some people, so it is important to understand that this does not mean our church is closing. The three core activities of worship, community and mission will continue in different ways. It is an opportunity for extraordinary creativity, new possibilities and even outreach.
We will be running a worship service at SBC this Sunday at 9:45am. But instead of travelling in, we are asking the church to stay at home and join us for the service online – (details of how to access the service will be emailed out in due course). Recordings of Sunday worship will also continue to be available.
Our Children's and Youth teams (Bubbles, History Makers and Kinect) are preparing material for you to do together at home as a family, based on what they would usually be doing on a Sunday morning. Watch your email for further details.
Keeping in touch and supporting one another will no longer be primarily through face-to- face contact, but we are going to use internet platforms and phone calls to allow us to keep connected. Virtual small groups are also going to play an important role in staying connected with each other as much as is possible. (Note: we will try and make special arrangements for those who don't as yet have access to technology).
Many of our church fellowship are already having to self-isolate. If that is you then please get in touch with us via the contact details below so that we can support and pray for you. We are looking at providing an extensive programme of pastoral care measures to all those who are especially vulnerable at this time.
We are also open to other ways that those within our fellowship can continue to support each other and build each other up without leaving the house so please keep an eye out for more information about this in your inbox and on SBC's Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Our mission at this time is to witness to Jesus by being a generous, caring presence in our wider communities, giving particular attention to people who are struggling or at risk of being forgotten.
If you are in a position to offer any assistance to the housebound during this time then please let us know. Some may be able to help by:
- doing shopping runs for others
- running errands, such as picking up prescriptions
- providing childcare for parents who are in the emergency services
and generally checking up on those in your community who may need a phone call.
This is an opportunity to use our networks to find the places where God is calling us to serve our neighbours.
This is a major crisis in our country and our world, but it is also an immense opportunity for the church to reflect on what it really means to be God's people, the community of his kingdom, and rise to the challenge of demonstrating his love and hope.
Please let us know if we can support you. We would also like to know of creative ideas or testimonies of God at work in this situation so we can be encouraged and encourage others.
Yours in Christ