From Bryan Coates July 2021

Dear Friend

Following the Government’s confirmation on 12th July  of the relaxation of some of the Covid regulations as from the 19th,  I wrote round to the team of Senior Church Stewards to forward to them the link to the Connexional advice through ‘Signposts for Ministry’ and also setting out advice as far as we in the Circuit are concerned.  I have not heard of any deviation from this advice and I am sure that our Churches want to follow the guidelines.  As we have stated several times over the past sixteen months, the safety and wellbeing of our people is our primary concern.

We can sing – which will be of enormous encouragement for many as we gather for Worship.  However, for the time being – and certainly through August, our recommendation is that we continue to wear masks at all times in Church and that, apart from family members who, of course, will sit together, we maintain some distancing both with the seating and in conversation and fellowship before and after Services.    The alarming rise in infection rates and in those who are instructed to self-isolate means that we shall have to maintain our cautious approach as far into the future as we can see at present.

While all of that is important, my real purpose in writing is to express something of the debt of gratitude that we owe to you.  In many ways and in different forms people have remarked on just how different and difficult the past year has been.  ‘Unprecedented’ is the well-worn adjective.  Add to the mix of the toll that the pandemic has taken on each one of us personally in a variety of ways and the extended periods of lock-down which have disrupted so much of our lives – both individually and as Church, the fact of David’s long term incapacity and Paul’s absence from active ministry among us for over 8 months now, have added to the problems that we have had to overcome.

Overcome them we have – together.  Thank you once again for your commitment and devotion.  Thank you once again for your willingness and adaptability as we have had to make changes and in some ways to live somewhat hand–to-mouth in arrangements for Services.   Thank you for the time and energy that you have given to the preparation and delivery of the Services – in person or through technology.

We have maintained our Worship of the living God and the fellowship of His people.  In no small measure that is down to you and I am glad on behalf of the Circuit to say a huge Thank You!

Sincerely

Bryan

Bryan Coates Acting Superintendent Minister