UPDATE | MONDAY 2nd November | RESPONDING TO THE SECOND NATIONAL LOCKDOWN
Following the government’s announcement of a second national lockdown coming into effect on Thursday 5th November we will no longer be able to meet for gathered worship for the four weeks following that date. We will be live-streaming a service each Sunday morning at 11am (with the exception of Remembrance Sunday on 8th November when the live-stream will begin at 10:45am). Join us on the home page of our website or on our YouTube channel.
The church building will continue to be open for private prayer on Mondays and Saturdays between 11am and 12noon and from 11th November the building will also be open for private prayer from 7:30pm t0 8:30pm on Wednesday Evenings.
UPDATE | SATURDAY 20th June | CHURCH BUILDING OPEN FOR PRIVATE PRAYER
We are excited to let you know that as of today (Saturday 20th June) our church building we be opening for private prayer. In accordance with the government, Church of England and Diocese of Rochester guidelines we will be opening the church building from private prayer on Mondays, Wednesday and Saturday mornings from 11am to midday.
We hope that you will be able to pop in to make use of the space for quiet times of prayer and reflection. Before entering the building please do take time to read the measures that have been put in place to keep people safe. These instructions can be found on the doors/porch window of the church or can be seen below:
Please note the following important guidelines before entering the church:
- Keep 2m social distance at all times
- We would encourage you to wear a face covering
- Please only sit in the nominated seating areas and following the markings on the floor
- Use the sanitiser in the hand pumps when you enter and leave
- Do not touch anything, including prayer books
- If we are busy, we may have to limit the time that you can stay to 15 minutes
- There are no toilet facilities available
We would normally leave paper and pens out for prayer requests, but as this is not safe to do, please send your prayer requests to the Christ Church team at email@example.com
As you enter, we will ask you for your contact details in case we need them for track and trace – please give them to our welcome team
UPDATE | MONDAY 23rd March
Please see the following update prepared by the Bishop of Rochester about the temporary closure of church buildings in London:
The Church continues to be alive and active, but our buildings must close in London
London is seeing a huge increase in the number of people falling sick with COVID-19. We must distance ourselves from one another and prevent the spread of infection in order to save lives.
Therefore, as well as public worship being suspended, this and all church buildings in the Archdeaconry of Bromley & Bexley in the Diocese of Rochester are now closed.
Our worship of God and our care for each other continue but cannot be done in this building.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength . . . Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”
To protect the vulnerable amongst us, please do not leave your home except for essential trips.
UPDATE | TUESDAY 17th March
This update comes to you with prayer and confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ and the power of his Holy Spirit who Christ promised to each of us to be our comforter and our helper.
While we are undoubtedly in wholly unprecedented times we remain the people of God, a Royal Priesthood and children of a loving Heavenly Father made in his image and loved enough for him to send His Son Jesus to die for us upon the cross. Not only that but we resurrection people, full of hope that comes from Christ’s rising from the dead and ascension into heaven where we our destined to be.
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! 1 Corinthians 15:57
This is an email that I never imagined I would have to write, and one which causes me much sadness. In the light of the government’s most recent advice and in addition to the measures already taken last week, I have made the decision to suspend all group activities which come under the oversight of the Church, and have instructed Helen to cancel all external hall bookings. This has meant that many will no longer enjoy the close fellowship and support which they rely on and some very dear friends, at the most difficult of times, have had to change their plans. Neither Allen Stoffel’s nor Anne Lea’s memorial services can now take place. At this morning’s Team meeting we took the decision to suspend our all children’s work. I will also cancel the forthcoming PCC and have no choice but to seek a new date for the APCM. This means that the following regular church activities are now suspended until further notice:
- Community Lunch
- Open Doors
- Baby & Toddlers
- Men Behaving Dadly
- Men’s Breakfast
- Recovery Course
- Knit and Natter
- Prayer Breakfast
- Prayer for Prayer
- First Wednesday
- Remember Together
- Junior Choir
- Sunday Schools
- Family Fun Morning
- Christ Church Singers
- Remember Together
- Church Open
Perhaps most significantly, as our Leadership Team was meeting to discuss my decision to suspend the 8:00am, 4.30pm and 6:30pm services and to offer only a short “said” service at 10:30am until advice is given that we can meet again in safety, we have now received the instructions from the Church of England clarifying government advice about religious meetings:
As of today there is a suspension of all gathered worship.
What this means is that from this Sunday we can no longer meet to worship together in church on a Sunday, or any other day until further notice.
Luke and I have decided that, for as long as we are permitted, we will continue to meet in church at 9:00am until 9:30am for Morning Prayer and the church will be open should people wish to sit apart for private prayer. Our calling and ordination puts upon us an obligation to lift our voices and the needs of our people to the Lord in prayer. We take that responsibility seriously and sacrificially and receiving news of your needs would aid us in our prayers.
Please understand the openness of church is not meant as an encouragement for us all to gather, but rather as a place of refuge for as an anchor point in your consciousness that the church is still alive and God is still present.
It is our intension to set up some form of regular online streaming. As you can appreciate we are working hard to set these things up as fast as we can. We have the contact details for many of you but if you are unsure please do contact the church office and let us know.
What can we do?
Coronavirus Care | Phone Buddies
We recognise that the need to self-isolate will be leaving many vulnerable over the coming days, weeks and months. If this applies to you please let us know by contacting the Church Office either via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or telephone (020 8650 3847).
Our first defence against vulnerability and spiritual/emotional isolation during this time is to implement a ‘Phone Buddy’ system. Through this centrally co-ordinated initiative, you can receive a regular phone call from someone within the church family checking up on you and praying with you over the phone. If you have any specific concerns or needs that arise your Phone Buddy will refer them to the Church Office.
If you feel you may be able to serve as a Phone Buddy please get in touch as we suspect that this ministry will require an increasing number of people.
At present we recognise that our first responsibility is to those within the family of Christ Church Beckenham, however, as time progresses we will seek to be involved in helping to meet the needs of the wider community. If there are any individuals within the congregation that you are concerned about please let us know as we would rather receive a name multiple times than for someone to slip through the net.
Finally, please understand that the staff team is going to also have to be careful over these next few weeks and months and therefore Helen will be working from home for much of the week but will have access to emails and the church phone (office hours) and Ed has taken the wise decision to self-isolate. Currently we are all fit and well and it is our hope to stay that way!
Please hold us in your prayers as we hold you in ours and please, please keep in touch.
In the name of Christ of Saviour.
UPDATE | TUESDAY 17th March
Following the statement given by the Prime Minister yesterday afternoon we can confirm that we have cancelled the following events and activities until further notice (at least after Easter):
Baby & Toddler Groups
Tuesday Prayer Breakfast
The Recovery Course
We will be meeting as a team later today and will provide a more detailed update following our meeting. Praying that you know God’s peace and presence during these times!
UPDATE | SATURDAY 14th March | THE SUNDAY CONVERSATION POSTPONED:
It is with real disappointment and regret that we must write and tell you that we have had to postpone tomorrow’s Sunday Conversation with Graham Kendrick. We have spoken with Graham and he is looking forward to rescheduling his visit and we hope you will come and join us then.
At 6:30pm tomorrow evening the church will be open for a service of led prayers and reflections on Psalm 27, when we will lift the current crisis to the Lord.
In the meantime, please continue to pray for those who are suffering with this virus and those who are scared, vulnerable and becoming socially isolated. We are exploring ways that the church community might be of best help in these difficult times.
Please check the church website www.ccb.org.uk for up to date information and please tell those who do not have access to emails of the change.
You might also find these prayers helpful as we continue to cope at this time.
Rev. Rob Hinton
A prayer about the Coronavirus outbreak
Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
For those in isolation
God of compassion,
be close to those who are ill, afraid or in isolation.
In their loneliness, be their consolation;
in their anxiety, be their hope;
in their darkness, be their light;
through him who suffered alone on the cross,
but reigns with you in glory,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
UDPATE | TUESDAY 10th MARCH
The situation regarding Coronavirus has moved on since our update in the bulletin last week. As a result, we have made the following important decisions:
- Community Lunch is now cancelled until after Easter – 24th March and 14th April lunches will not take place. People were informed today and told to call the Community Lunch bookings line after Easter for updates on when the lunches will resume.
- Open Doors are cancelling all meetings until after Easter – 17th March Speaker Meeting and 7th April Bible Study will not take place. Nick and his team will contact as many people as they can and will ensure that someone will be at the door on both 17th March and 7th April to meet people who might turn up to explain the situation.
- After today, Bowls will not take place again until after Easter.
- Baby and Toddlers will continue to run, but in a slightly pared down format, as many of our helpers are in the vulnerable group, it would be wise for them to stay away for now.
- Family Fun Morning will go ahead, but again, we urge all helpers to think about whether it is appropriate for them to help.
Other changes from this weekend are:
- Service sheets and bulletins – we are going to go paperless for the time being, so that we are not passing pieces of paper around. We will ensure that there are enough large print copies for those who cannot read the screens and a few bulletins for those who do not receive it by email.
- Holy Communion – guidance from the Church of England is that we should consider suspending the administration of the chalice and offer communion in one kind only, i.e. the consecrated bread, with the priest alone taking the wine. We think that this is wise.
- Offering Peace – we will not be shaking hands during the peace for the time being.
- We will have a retiring collection this weekend.
Clearly the situation is changing on a daily basis, if you have any questions or concerns, please speak to Rob or Helen.
We are still trying to purchase antibacterial pumps which we will place near the entrances of the church and all our halls.
Please continue to remember in your prayers those who are currently suffering from the virus across the globe, those who are working hard to treat patients and all those involved in containing the spread of Coronavirus.
God did not give us a spirit of fear, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1.7