Pastoral Letter to all Churches
To All member of Apperley, Tewkesbury and Winchcombe Methodist Churches
18th March 2020,
It is with such sadness that we have had to announce that there will be no further public acts of worship in our churches until June 14th at the very least. We are indeed in unprecedented times and having to face some extreme measures in order to stay safe.
Firstly I want to say that staying safe is the priority for each of you. This means following Government advice. In addition to this advice the Methodist Church is producing regular updates which can be accessed via the website, I do appreciate that many of you do not use online communications so I, along with the stewards, will inform you of any updates that are relevant to our situation.
In these early stages of such drastic changes there is a lot to do to ensure that we have systems in place to support people pastorally in our own churches. There is an awful lot more to do as well such as enabling people to have access to ways of being able to worship at home, managing church business, continuing important meetings, setting communication systems in place and responding to the needs of the vulnerable in the wider community. Not all of these can happen in one go but I will be working with pastoral visitors, stewards, leadership teams and Churches Together colleagues to address these issues.
I will send out regular updates to you all (across my three churches) to ensure you are in the loop and to help us all maintain our sense of connection. In the meantime, and until these things are all up and running, there is much that you can do to help yourselves and others get through the coming weeks, such as:
- Keeping in touch with each other via telephone will be really helpful in combating social isolation. Especially do this if you think that some would be more prone to becoming isolated given these current measures.
- Good old fashioned letter writing would also be a great way of keeping in touch, and help to occupy time!
- Keep occupied, fresh air (even if it’s only an open window), exercise, reading, crafts,TV (but restrict yourself in terms of the news as too much can become unnecessarily gloomy).
- If you have or know of any particular hardships that these restrictions may cause then please let your pastoral visitor know.
I do realise that at a time such as this we can feel anxious and afraid for all sorts of reasons as this really does impact everyone on so many levels. Yet we are a people of hope, we are called to put our trust in God and we are called to respond with love. Let us then hold all of this in prayer, and place our trust in God who is able to do far more than we could ever ask for or imagine.
Peace and blessings.
Reverend Jayne Webb
Methodist Minister for Apperly, Tewkesbury & Winchcombe