Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates
This page has everything you need to be aware of our current thinking. Please keep an eye on the updates below as this page will be updated as the situation develops.
Our plans going forward
As many of you will be aware, the government announced that from the 04 July, as part of their package of measures for coming out of lockdown, churches are able to regather for public meetings in their buildings, with further guidance coming out this last Monday.
We’ve been praying, processing, and thinking through the logistics of what meeting together would look like, and we wanted to share our plans with you from now until the end of August.
When the plans were announced, we were, like anyone, really excited about the possibility of regathering, but since the guidance was published, we’ve had to recognise that there are a lot of restrictions about what regathering would look like. Similarly to many churches across the nation, we’ve decided to take a cautious and measured approach to regathering.
We want to make sure that we serve the whole of the Gateway family. We want to make sure to remind ourselves that we’re actually a people on mission. And we want to make sure that we are collectively giving ourselves to the right thing. That means that we’ve taken the decision not to reopen the building for public gatherings immediately.
However, as of the 04 July, we are allowed to gather with one other household in our homes, and we really want to encourage you to get together with one other household from the Gateway family, join in with the livestream service together, and enjoy doing community in that way. The early church saw themselves as households of the Kingdom of God, and we have the opportunity to model that at this time. The Government guidance for how you can do that safely can be found here.
We recognise that this won’t be possible for everyone given your circumstances, but we do want to encourage us to be a community that doesn’t just gather with our mates, but loves those on the fringe or who might be more isolated within our church family. Or maybe there’s a friend or family member of yours who’s not yet a follower of Jesus, but is asking questions – what a great opportunity to invite them over, join in with the livestream, and then talk about life together.
We’re also committing to continuing to pray regularly as a church family, recognising the hunger and appetite amongst us as a family. This means we’ll continue to gather on Zoom to pray every Monday-Friday at 8:00am, every Sunday at 9:00am, and every other Tuesday evening at 8:00pm. These have been incredible times of being together and praying, and prayer certainly has to be at the heartbeat and forefront of all that we do going forward, so please do join in with these as well.
Additionally, household groups are still the primary place to build community, get connected, and be cared for at the moment. If you’ve not connected into a group yet, please do so – just email us at email@example.com.
Then from the end of July and into August, we’re going to hold four communion services. Three of those will be at the Trinity Centre at different times of the day and week, to allow as many as possible to join in considering work shifts and life balance. You’ll need to book into these, so details will follow over the next few weeks letting you know how to do that.
The fourth will be online over Zoom, and particularly aimed at those who are shielding or more vulnerable. We want to ensure we all get this opportunity to share communion as a family.
We’ll then review again what it looks like for September, depending on any further easing or tightening of restrictions that the Government might announce over the summer months.
We are scattered servants
We just want to remind ourselves that our scattering is as important as our gathering. We love gathering as the people of God, but let’s remember that we are a sent people, and the goal of gathering is always to be sent out again anyway. Even now where we are still mostly in our own households, we are those who are sent as missionaries to our neighbourhoods, to our friends, and to our families. God has placed you where he wants you to be on mission, serving those around you. So even though our gatherings will be limited, we are still a family, we are still connecting meaningfully in all sorts of ways, and we are still a sent people; scattered servants who are called to go and proclaim the good news of Jesus to the nations around us.
We’ll continue to update you in the days ahead. As always, you can connect with us, join in with the livestream services, and watch devotionals, stories, and updates on social media:
Additionally, we’ll be sending things out by email! If you’re not receiving our emails, that’s because you’re not in our contact list. Please let us know if you’d like to be added to this contact list by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ve created a few playlists to help you and your children worship at home while we’re unable to meet together physically.
Songs We Like – Songs you may not have heard before, but we really like. It’s an eclectic mix, so not everything will be to your taste! Find the stuff you like and use that to create your own playlist! Listen on Apple Music or Spotify.
Songs For Kids – Songs that might help you engage with your kids in worship. Some songs may be favourites from kids groups on a Sunday morning, and some may be new, but we hope your children can dance and sing along with them! Listen on Apple Music or Spotify.
Get in touch
If you’re currently self-isolating, or need some additional support, please do get in touch.
You can email us at email@example.com or call our church office at 01793 526130.