A return to Sunday Worship in time for Easter

Hello Church,

It is with great joy and excitement that I wish to announce, on behalf of the entire church leadership, that we will recommence public worship services in our church
building from Easter Sunday, 4th April 2021.

Our intention is to then recommence prayer meetings on Wednesday evenings in the church and not on Zoom from the 7th April 2021.

I would now like to lay out for you what church will look like when we regather. This is so that you can make an informed decision going forward. We understand some remain in a high risk group while others are more cautious by nature. For the clearest communication, let me divide what needs to be said into two categories; what is changing and what is remaining the same.

What is changing?

  1. Live praise will return
    • After much consideration, we believe the time is right to reintroduce our praise teams into our services. It is a vital component of the public worship of a church and has been greatly missed over the last twelve months.

    • Praise is worth the effort because

      (a) it is commanded in scripture “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:6).

      (b) God is worthy of it “Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom” (Psalm 145:3) (c) It enhances our intimacy with God. God is “Enthroned upon the praises of Israel” (Psalm 22:3).

    • We will re-introduce praise slowly. Limiting the number of songs the musicians play

    • The teams will be socially distant and remain on stage throughout the service

    • singing musicians will wear masks and screens will be in place

    • There will be no mandate for you to sing, but if you wish to sing, we ask that you sing no louder than your regular speaking volume.

What will remains the same from the Autumn?

  1. The phone booking system remains in place.
    • You will still need to book a seat by contacting the phone line and leaving a message. That number is the same as last time 028 9181 5182

    • Please note that space in the main hall will be placed by first come first serve basis. If you do not phone ahead, you can expect to be seated in the sports hall, if room is available. If the service is full, there may be a chance you will be turned away.

    • If you cannot attend and have booked. Please let us asap know so we can reallocate those seats. It was frustrating to see empty seats that could have been filled had people
      been more courteous.

  2. Masks remain mandatory
    • It is expected that everyone over the age of 13 wear a mask for the entirety of the service. This is in line with government guidelines issued (www.nidirect.gov.uk)

    • We understand that some may be unable to for medical reasons. We appreciate this, but would ask that if this applies to you, you bring your exemption note with you to avoid any embarrassment as you enter.

  3. Church will remain a touch-less experience
    • In an effort to make our church touch-less, all entry doors will remain open, weather permitting, for the entire time you are on the premises. We will wipe clean all door handles and high-touch surfaces with antibacterial solution as much as possible before, during, and
      after services.

    • The one way system of entering and exiting the building by different doors will continue to be in place

  4. Creche facilities and bible classes remain unavailable.
    • We want to encourage you to bring your families to church – our fellowship is a family and your children are part of that. Yet in order to maintain socially distancing and limit the mixing of bubbles, we will refrain from bible classes and look to reintroduce them at a later date.

    • Toilet and baby changing facilities will be available throughout the service, though we would encourage you to avoid using them as much a possible, we appreciate that young children have a habit of “needing to go “ whenever and wherever they are!

  5. Our service time will remain roughly 45 minutes
    • OK OK – as pastor, I’m not always great at finishing times! But we will try to ensure that the service time runs, on average, 11 am to 11.45 am each week.

    • Please note that Easter Sunday will be longer. We will run for about an hour as we will include a communion service after the main celebration.

I trust that this letter both encourages you for the opportunity to worship our risen saviour and comforts you to know that the leadership have carefully thought through this process. We, as always, commit this to the will of God, and seek his face, his guidance and his blessing in this process.
Yours in Christ

Geoffrey Kennedy

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