Reopening of Church Buildings – 26th July update from Rev. David Goodall
The Circuit Leadership Team met on Thursday 23rd July to consider when the right time is to reopen Church Buildings. Considering the feedback from churches across the Circuit and information from the Newcastle District. After a long and prayerful conversation the Circuit Leadership Team decided that their hope is for Hexham Trinity to reopen for Morning Worship on Sunday 30th August, which will also be available online, and for six other churches to open for worship from Sunday 6th September, including evening worship at Hexham West End. These dates continue to be dependent on all the appropriate Risk Assessments being in place, there being no change in government advice or an upturn in the number of COVID-19 cases.
The Trinity Church Stewards will meet on Sunday evening (26th July) to consider the feedback from the ‘returning to worship’ survey and the risk assessment for the Trinity building. Over the coming weeks we will communicate more information about when more services and activities are restarting.
I recognise that Sunday 30th August may feel a long way away and some of the Trinity family would hope to return to worship in the Church Building earlier than this, whilst others will still feel this is too soon and choose to continue to join in worship online (which is absolutely understandable). In making this decision the Circuit Leadership Team sought to make the best decision for the whole circuit, for those who will be responsible for getting buildings ready to reopen, those who will steward each week and for those who will attend worship. Whilst we wait in hopeful anticipation for Sunday 30th August we will of course continue to meet on Zoom each week through which God will continue to receive our worship and we will continue to be blessed through scripture, prayer and fellowship.
These continue to be challenging times and whilst I have many mixed emotions about all the decisions that we are making, individually and corporately, at the moment I have a deep peace from the these words ‘best of all God is with us’, words from John Wesley just before he died and theme for this years President and Vice President of the Methodist Conference.
If you have any queries or comments about this information please do not hesitate to contact me or the Church Stewards. Rev. David Goodall.
Reopening of Church Buildings – 26th June update from Rev. David Goodall
You will be aware that as part of the Prime Minister’s announcements on Tuesday he said that Church Buildings would be able to open for Church Services from Sunday 5th July, with appropriate social distancing in place. I like many of you long for us to be able to worship together in Church as well as sharing online. Unfortunately the Prime Minister’s announcement wasn’t accompanied by the detailed advice which is needed in order for Churches to reopen safely and there is much clarity which is still needed in order for us to reopen safely. The Methodist Church is expected to clarify some of these things in the near future.
The Circuit Leadership Team met on Thursday morning and in light of the lack of clarity, to help us reopen Churches safely, sadly came to the decision that it is not yet the right time to recommence Church Services or Reopen Church Buildings in the Tynedale Circuit. In making this decision the Circuit Leadership Team had everyone’s health and wellbeing as its main priority. The Circuit Leadership Team will continue to monitor the situation and review its decision on a monthly basis, the team is next due to meet on 23rd July.
Rev. Paul Dunstan has issued a statement to convey this decision to the Circuit which can be downloaded here.
I very much echo’s Paul’s words. I long for us to be able to worship together again but we must do this when we can ensure the safety of everyone who comes and the community we are part of. Thankfully we know that God is not confined to a building. In God’s great saving love for us all, revealed in Jesus, God is with us wherever we are and we can worship him in Spirit and in truth, on our own or together in many different ways and place, for which we give thanks.
I realise for some of you this news will be hard to hear, for others it will be a relief, for others it will be another part of the uncertainty we face in lockdown. Please do not hesitate to contact me, one of the stewards or Paul if you would like to discuss this matter.
The Church Stewards, Staff and Growth Team continue to work together to plan for when we will be able to meet together and to begin to enable our time to worship, prayer and listening to come alive more and more. We will be in touch with more details about this soon.
Please be assured of my prayers for each of you as we continue to journey through this challenging time.
With my love and prayers. Rev. David.