In light of the recent guidelines issued by the UK government, and our belief that we are to honour these for the collective health of our nation and to reduce the burden on the NHS, we have decided to temporarily suspend all physical church services and church related meetings.
This suspension will last for the next two Sundays at least, at which point we will reassess the situation. There will not be a physical service for you to attend on 22nd March or 29th March.
We are mindful of God’s instruction in Hebrews 10:25 that we do not give up meeting together. For that reason, we will “gather virtually” this Sunday and I would encourage all of you to do what you can to join us for that. Our intention is to broadcast the sermon at 10am on the website (www.christchurchfareham.co.uk) and then host a virtual prayer meeting at 11am using conference call software.
I will send out full instructions on how it will work in a later email, once I have fully tested the technology. I hope to send that email by the end of the day today. At the latest you will receive those instructions on Friday.
This morning I read Psalm 46, which begins
“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.”
Personally, I am sad that we cannot meet physically on Sunday. There is something wonderful about the Church gathering together and singing together and I would much prefer to preach to a room of people rather than to a camera. However, I am comforted by knowing that God is our refuge, our strength and a very present help in trouble. He is present with each of us now. He will be present with us on Sunday, even as we gather over many different locations. So, we need not fear. God knows what is happening, he is control and he is using this situation for our good.
If any of you need anything at all, please shout. We’re very happy to pick up shopping or urgent supplies, to speak about any worries or concerns you might have or just to call to have a chat.
Just a little encouragement, we dropped leaflets through our neighbours doors this week, giving them our names and number if anyone needed help while self-isolating.Â We have had 5 neighbours contact us. No one has needed help yet, but they all been really thankful for our willingness to help. Coronavirus has given us an opportunity to love and get to know our neighbours, so we’re thankful for that.
If you have any questions at all, please ask.