In light of the continuing development of the progress of the Coronavirus/Covid-19 outbreak, St. Andrew’s current position is as follows:
- Activities Team have met and taken the decision to cancel all social and fundraising activities on the premises up to and including the Christian Aid events in May.
- Following receipt of guidance from Church House, Executive Team has confirmed that all worship at St Andrew’s will be suspended from today, 17 March 2020. St. Andrew’s Elders are in process of contacting members of their Districts to advise them of the suspension of worship.
- The majority of hirers of the premises have over the last few days suspended their activities and are no longer using the premises. This includes all the uniformed organisations. Anyone who usually attends activities in the church is encouraged to check with the organiser if they are unsure whether an activity is taking place – please do not contact the church for this information.
- The Daily Devotional available through the URC is sending out a service in both written and audio format which people can join in with and which will be available on Sunday mornings. You can access these here: http://devotions.urc.org.uk
In the meantime the church remains accessible for any hirers still using it. Anyone using the church is asked to observe the hand washing notices and use gloves when handling and distributing food and drink.
Further details of the URC position can be found here: https://urc.org.uk/latest-news/3365-urc-issues-coronavirus-advice-to-its-churches
The URC offers this prayer, written by Jan Berry:
God our refuge,
we seek your protection.
Protect the vulnerable from illness:
those who are old and frail,
weakened by years and struggle;
those who care for others,
expending energy and love;
those for whom inability to work
means hardship and poverty.
from the greed and suspicion
which snatches at our own security
stock-piling and panic-buying
that deprives others of the necessities of life.
Protect us from the shortsightedness
which sees the germ in our own eyes
and ignores the plagues
of hunger, war and violence
that take so many lives each day.
Protect us from the isolation
that leads to loneliness and despair
denying the interconnectedness
that links us with one another.
God our refuge
in our panic and fear
may we not lose sight of our common humanity that makes us one people in you.