November. Welcome to Lockdown 2.0?
Like me you’ll have watched the prime minister’s announcement on Saturday evening with a sense of deja vu. “Here we go again”, and welcome to what many are calling “lockdown 2.0”
I’m aware in writing anything that many of the details are still not clear as to what this Thursday’s lockdown will look like, and there are clearly discussions going on about what the impact of this will mean. But what is clear is that we continue to be in a difficult and challenging time. This period will be difficult for many, and we’ll all bring an anxiety both for ourselves as well as those we love. We are in for a long haul, and it appears that it will be a long and hard winter.
What does this mean for Church life? First and foremost we remain “open for business”, even if our doors may be closed again for public worship:
- We’ll continue online, in all likelihood gathering for pyjama church at 9.30am, our mid morning gathering at 10.30am, and an evening group at 6.30pm.
- We’ll continue in prayer, meeting daily for six o’clock live as well as having a rhythm of prayer which can sustain each and every one of us, including the newly revised “Time for God” booklet
- We’ll continue pastorally, seeking to revitalise the pastoral phone network particularly for those who are feeling especially anxious or who might be on their own through these next weeks. Talking about phones, we’ll also be making more widely available the really great DAILY HOPE free phone line of hymns, reflections and prayers on 0800 804 8044.
- We’ll continue in small groups, those networks of people across the local area who can support each other and encourage discipleship in smaller settings
- We’ll continue with youth and children, working where we can online midweek, as well as seeking to support local schools and others through these difficult days
- We’ll continue to serve others with our twice-weekly food deliveries, as well as trying to equip neighbours to be looking out for those around them. Whilst sadly the Trinity Centre and Cafe Connect will need to close their doors again, we seek to be active in the communities we are called to bless and serve.
These next days I’m sure much will become clearer, and in particular we’ll be able to discern how we might use the church building at Holy Trinity for private prayer and livestreaming services.
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York wrote to all clergy yesterday calling churches in particular to pray and to serve. We are working towards a week of prayer beginning Sunday 29th November, praying 24/7 for that first week of Advent. This feels more timely than ever, and praying for light in the darkness and hope where there is despair. Please watch this space for more details of that, and join in with as much as you can.
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