Following the Government's announcement over the weekend the Methodist Connexion has now updated its advice.
"Coronavirus Guidance for Property
Update 2 November 2020
Following the Prime Minister's statement on 31 October, it has been confirmed that new National Restrictions will be brought into effect from 5 November 2020 (subject to a Commons vote on Wednesday) in England.*
As part of these new restrictions, places of worship and their ancillary accommodation will have to close or remain closed for congregational worship and all other user groups, except for the following:
To broadcast acts of worship
Funerals (a maximum of 30 close family & friends can attend)
Formal childcare or where part of a school (including OFSTED registered early years settings)
Essential voluntary and public services, such as blood donation or food banks
Place of work where the work cannot be carried out at home
Repairs or construction work that is being undertaken
Community cafés providing a take-away service only
Unfortunately wedding ceremonies will not be permitted to take place."
Therefore, as Superintendent of our Circuit it is with sadness that I have to inform you that until further notice there will be no public worship in our churches and that church lets and meetings etc will also not be allowed and will have to cease (subject to the exceptions mentioned in the Connexional advice) from Thursday. Funerals will be allowed subject to numbers and on-going Covid-19 protocols being observed etc.
I would like to take this opportunity to offer my heartfelt thanks to all those church stewards, property secs and other volunteers in our church communities who have worked so hard and diligently these past few weeks to make our churches Covid-19 safe and who have invested so much time and effort to comply with the various regulations etc – "Thank you".
Whilst it is disappointing that we are having to close our buildings once more, we do so knowing how to re-open them and that we have all the protools and procedures ready in place for when we can open our doors once again.
My thanks also to all our Local Preachers, Worship Leaders and Supernumeraries who had already been working on their services for November and who have led us in faithful worship these past few weeks.
As a Circuit Leadership Team, we will continue to do all that we can to help support one another through these difficult and seemingly never-ending times.
We will ensure that orders of service for use at home will still be made available to all those who would like to receive them. I know how much they have been appreciated these past months and how widely they are distributed and used.
There will be our regular Sunday morning Zoom service at 10:30am. For security reasons, if you would like to be added to the Zoom distribution list and receive the order of service and details of how to join the service, please do email me directly.
There will also be a short act of worship posted on our Circuit YouTube channel which you can find at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBpMj71hDzpMhVj6t_ZQt0w/videos
We pray for one another, our families, our churches our nation and the world as continue to sing the Lord's song in this strange land.
If you have any questions or queries, please do let me know.
Please feel free to share this information as widely as possible.
As always, with love and God Bless