We are certainly living in strange times and entering into uncharted waters. Due to the imposition of lockdown restrictions, the Church Council arranged a virtual meeting instead of the Church Meeting to have been held on 12th May. It was considered impracticable to hold a full church meeting in the current circumstances and the Council were conscious of the fact that they did not wish to exclude anyone.
Although the church building cannot be used, there are various aspects that needed to be discussed such as the maintenance of the building, ensuring adherence to our insurance policy, our financial situation, checking the post box and reading the meters, etc.
Although it is recognised that the Council are unable to make any decisions without the sanction of the Church Meeting, the following items were discussed:
Christian Aid had informed us of the facility to use virtual envelopes and it was agreed that this information be forwarded to the congregation via our email distribution list. A letter enclosing cheque for £143.60 representing the amount raised at the Lent Lunch held in our church prior to the temporary closure has been sent to Christian Aid and we have also informed them that we hope to hold a coffee morning in the future.
Discussion on the way forward for our church was led by our Pastor Julie. She said that she is keen to use technology to keep our church ‘alive’. The practicalities of using Zoom, allowing services to be streamed to those who will not be able to come to an actual service once the church is allowed to open, will be investigated.
Julie was also eager to ensure that the Prayer Group and Bible Study meetings should be held either via WhatsApp or Zoom. During lockdown the order of service for each Sunday will continue to be prepared by Julie and these will be circulated via the distribution list and hard copies printed off for those without the internet.
The presentation of the newsletter (circulated via email and printed where necessary) was so good in colour and showed the photograph distinctly. The use of photographs in our various outside media was discussed and it was felt that permission to use images must be sought from each member of our congregation. A letter to cover this issue will be prepared.
A suggestion was made to Julie that once we are back in church, services encapsulating experiences during lockdown could be held. It was considered more appropriate to hold a service of thanksgiving for deliverance when things get back to normal.
Thanks to Peter, lockdown had given him the opportunity to work on a promised task of compilation of hymns held on our CDs and referenced to the corresponding hymn number.
The above is a condensed version of all that was discussed at the virtual meeting.
Keep well and safe.