Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6-7
This page will be regularly updated with the latest information from Hadleigh Baptist Church with regard to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. If you need to get in touch with us, please use the details that can be found here – hadleighchurch.co.uk/new-here/contact-us/.
Guidance Update for Places of Worship – 1st August 2020
We are looking forward to tomorrow (2nd August 2020) where we have our first ‘in-person’ service at the church building since March. You may well be aware that the government guidance regarding face-coverings in places of worship changed yesterday (31st July). Face-coverings were previously recommended and optional, but this will be a legal requirement from next Sunday (8th August 2020).
Therefore we would ask that if you are planning to come to the in-person service at the building tomorrow you wear a face covering. This is our way of continuing to love our neighbour and ensuring that we continue a good witness to the community.
There are still seats available for tomorrow’s service (2nd August), so if you are ‘holding back’ to let others go first. Don’t worry, we currently have plenty of space!
Whether you’re going to be at the building tomorrow or joining with us online, we hope it is a meaningful time of worship as we begin a new series thinking about what it means to be a ‘Socially Distanced’ church!
Hope to see you soon (either online or in-person)!
Life After Lockdown Update – 23rd July 2020
Last week we had our “Life after Lockdown” meeting over Zoom outlining our hopes, dreams, plans for the future as we begin to emerge from lockdown. We also gave thanks for the many blessings there have been over the last few months. This will be added to our YouTube channel and we will be sending out a link so that those who were unable to join us have an opportunity to share in the meeting.
Online & ‘In Person’ Worship.
From the 2nd August, we will be offering two options for Sunday worship. One option will be the live-stream via YouTube which will continue in the same style that you are now hopefully familiar with. The other option will be ‘in person’ worship at the Church building. This will not be a return to worship as it was pre-lockdown. To safely perform this worship service following government guidelines please be aware of the following:-
– 2m Social distancing will need to be applied between households/bubbles at all times.
– Hand sanitiser will be available and is required to be applied on entry and exit.
– Face-coverings are now highly recommended and will be available on entry. We ask that you bring your own or make use of those at church. (This is a recent change to the guidance).
– You will be directed to your seat. This will potentially be time-consuming so please bear this in mind regarding your arrival time at church.
– There will be no children’s work until September at the earliest. Children are welcome but remain the responsibility of parents.
– No refreshments will be served.
– Seating capacity is currently 50. This will be strictly adhered to.
– A booking system will be in operation (If you have not booked a seat there is no guarantee that you will be able to attend the service).
– There will be music but there will be no singing.
– You will be asked to leave the building by row promptly at the end of the service and should not spend time gathering as a group outside the facilities.
Due to the reduced seating capacity and the requirement to record visitors to services for the NHS “Trace and Test” system, we are making use of a booking system (please see the link below). We will also be keeping some tickets on hold for those who may have difficulty using the system and for those who cannot access the internet. Lorna has volunteered to manage these bookings.
Weekly Update – 30th June 2020
As a leadership team, we would like to make you aware of a few changes that we are making to our mid-week ministry and we would like your help as we begin our plans to return to worship at the church building in some capacity.
Firstly, since the beginning of lockdown, we have been having a weekly prayer meeting and occasional communion services on a Thursday night via Zoom. From this week we will be changing the pattern from every week to every fortnight. On the 2nd Thursday of each month, we will gather to pray (our first meeting being 9th July) and on the 4th Thursday of each month, we will have a communion service (23rd July).
Secondly, you may be aware that the government has relaxed restrictions on places of worship so that churches may gather from Sunday 5th July. As a church leadership, we are beginning to plan how we might begin to gather together, and we expect that we should be able to meet in some capacity in the coming weeks. The re-opening date is yet to be confirmed, but it will be no earlier than 19th of July.
Returning to the building will not however be returning to church as it was pre-COVID19, there are still many restrictions and recommendations that we will be following. The full UK government advice can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-from-4-july/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-from-4-july
Some of the specific guidance as it relates to HBC is as follows:-
– The two-metre social distancing ‘rule’ applies for public worship except in situations where closer contact cannot be avoided. People from the same household/bubble may sit together.
– A record of names of those attending worship will be kept for 21 days to assist with the government ‘Track and Trace’.
– On entering and leaving the building everyone will be asked to wash their hands thoroughly or to use hand-sanitiser.
– We are presently unable to sing.
– There will be no refreshments.
– Children’s work will only occur if enough children are attending and there are also sufficient members of the Junior church team available to offer the ministry abiding by the DofE guidance.
– There will be no creche.
– There will not be notice-sheets or bibles available for use.
– Socialising with people outside of your household/bubble will be minimal and it is recommended that the congregation leaves the building immediately following the end of the service.
– One-way systems will be implemented.
– Wearing of face-coverings is voluntary.
– While those at risk and the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ should be advised of the risks of attending public worship, a decision to do so is theirs alone.
For us to begin our planning we need to know what you and those in your social ‘bubble’ would intend to do about how you plan to attend worship. We will be continuing to stream our services in the same style that we have been doing for the past few months in addition to potentially putting on an act of worship at the church building.
As the restrictions will dramatically reduce the seating capacity at HBC, we need you to complete the short (2 minute) online survey at the end of this email by Sunday 5th July. If we do not hear from you by then we will be making contact as we are keen to get as clear a picture as possible.
ONLY ONE PERSON FROM EACH HOUSEHOLD NEEDS TO FILL IN THE SURVEY.
Depending on the responses, we will plan our next steps and your answers will help us immensely with this. For instance, if most of the usual congregation would want to return to meeting at the church under the incoming restrictions, we may have to implement a booking system to manage the situation.
Please let us know if you have not received the link to the survey via email – hadleighchurch.co.uk/new-here/contact-us/.
We thank you in advance for your replies and for all the encouragement and support that you have offered to us over the last few months.
Weekly Update – 4th June 2020
We hope you are continuing to keep safe and well as the restrictions we are all living with are beginning to be gradually eased. Do continue to pray for all of our Key Workers at this time.
As a church leadership team, we continue to try and serve the church and community as effectively as we can, we thought it would be good to let you know about some additional ways we would like to serve you.
Firstly, Greg has been recording a regular midweek vlog to encourage and inspire us. These can be found on the church YouTube page. The links to these vlogs are below:-
“When your plans are interrupted.” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDkrL5YPeB8
“Who are you leaning on?” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTH4m6-vxlg
“Lockdown Bubble” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HI3pJTGBceA
By following any one of these links you will be led to the church YouTube channel which has a large archive of our sermons and also videos of the songs we are singing (and plan to sing) on the live stream service.
Secondly, as we try to navigate this strange season of our lives it is becoming ever more clear that how we are doing church services and small groups may well have to continue in this pattern for some considerable time. We want to do everything possible to ensure no one is excluded from worship or small group support and discipleship. One of the tools we have been utilising to meet together is ‘Zoom’ which has enabled us to see each other, socialise together, battle in a quiz against one another, study together, share communion, and pray together. We will continue to use this tool. However, it has come to our attention that where some people ‘dial in’ to Zoom rather than using the app, it is possible to incur unexpected bills depending on an individual’s specific telephone contract. If this has happened to you, or you know of someone it has happened to, do please be in touch so that we can help.
Ideally, we would like to make it easy for people to interact with the church via technology rather than a potentially expensive telephone line and so have looked for solutions to this issue. We have identified a relatively inexpensive tablet (£50) onto which we can load, Zoom, YouTube and a simple email program and would like to make these available to people who as yet have not been able to connect with us. To get these devices into people’s hands we need your help so if:-
a) You know of someone who might benefit from such a device, do please let us know so that we can be in contact with them.
b) If you would be prepared to donate towards the cost of these devices for people who may not be able to afford it do please be in contact with Rob (Treasurer).
Weekly Update – 28th May 2020
We do hope you are all continuing to keep safe and well. As a church leadership team, we continue to be encouraged by the number of people that are engaging with us through our live-stream service and via Zoom at various times during the week. Do please continue to pray for all those who are connecting with us online who would not normally attend a church service.
Many of you may have received an email from Zoom today about the need to upgrade before the 30th May to continue to join meetings. This will mean from Sunday unless you have upgraded Zoom you will not be able to join in the after-church Zoom meetings, the prayer meeting on Thursday night and small group meetings. We would encourage you to upgrade as soon as possible.
Secondly, I’ve attached a poster that we are going to display outside the church from today. We would like to remind Hadleigh and the surrounding area that while church buildings are closed, the church is not closed. This is an opportunity to show people in your neighbourhood that the church is alive and well in your street.
Attached to this email there are two versions of a poster that we would like you to use. The first is a poster that you can print out and the second is a social media version you can post.
Window Poster – Please print out the poster on your home printer. It’s designed not to use much ink.
Stick it in your window as a witness to all your neighbours and delivery people that come to your home.
Social Media Poster – The second version of the poster is for use on your social media and if you do use any of the various social media platforms why not post it before this weekend which is Pentecost Sunday.
We hope to see you this Sunday as we continue our series about hearing the voice of God and how the Holy Spirit coming changes lives.
Weekly Update – 9th May 2020
We hope you are all keeping safe and well during this time where we have to physically isolate ourselves from one another. We would like to update you on several matters:
As many of you are probably aware, there was originally a church members meeting scheduled for this Wednesday (6th), for obvious reasons it was necessary to cancel this.
We will be using Wednesday evening (13th) to launch our new small group series over Zoom, this will be an ‘all-together’ meeting. The subject for this series is contentment, which seems very appropriate at the moment. We have obtained electronic copies of the material and will be emailing them to you in due course. If you would like to join a small group do please get in touch.
Greg’s Return to Work
Over the last few weeks, Greg has begun his phased return to work and has been gradually building up his work hours. To this point, he has been able to cope with his workload and if all continues as planned he should return to fulltime working at the end of May. We will ensure that Greg does not rush this return and will be reviewing his progress regularly. Do continue to keep Greg and Jenny in your prayers, praying for a complete restoration to health. Greg is very appreciative of all of your support shown to him over the last 6 months.
Sunday Services – DVDs & Children’s Resources
We have been very encouraged by the response to our online services with each message being viewed over 200 times and some over 300 times. We are aware that people are viewing our ministry from various locations in this country and there are people seriously considering being part of an online Christianity explored course. Greg has also been recording short video clips which will appear on our Facebook and YouTube pages, and his most recent video can be found here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=HI3pJTGBceA
We are also trying to ensure those without access to the internet can watch our services via DVDs sent to them. If you know of anyone who would appreciate one of these DVDs please let us know. Greg has also identified some useful resources for children. The details can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRZg_KH_wZI
Quiz Night – Prayer Meeting – Communion Services
The planned quiz night over Zoom will take place on the 22nd May, we will send out more details next week. We would also like to encourage as many people as possible to join our regular prayer meeting on Thursday nights. We will be holding another online zoom communion on May 14th.
Church finances do not give us an immediate cause for concern, while we have lost all of our regular income from room hires, and the Sunday offerings along some of the manse rent, there has also been a reduction in expenditure too. We will be making regular Gift Aid claims over the next few months to cover some of this shortfall, but still expect to spend approximately £1000 per month more than we receive. This is assuming that regular giving continues at current levels. We do understand that people’s financial situations at this time may lead to them needing to change their giving pattern to church for a while. We will keep you up to date on the church finances over the coming months. There are a variety of ways that it is still possible to give to the church. All the information can be found here https://www.hadleighchurch.co.uk/next-steps/giving/
Future Planned Events
While we do not know at this stage how the lockdown will gradually be relaxed in the UK, it is reasonable to assume that any plans to hold a holiday club in the summer are presently postponed at best and very likely to be cancelled.
Chris would also like to thank you for all the support and encouragement you have given him over the last few weeks as we have had to quickly move into a new way of doing church. As Elders and Deacons, we are continuing to think about how we need to respond to the unfolding situation and would appreciate your prayers for wisdom as things continue to change.
Weekly Update – 30th April 2020
I hope you are all keeping well. I think it is probably true that at this point in time, due to the social distancing and lockdown measure we are all living under, the last week or so may well have felt more difficult than a few weeks ago. While we have tried to set up a system where everyone is being cared for if you know of anyone who is particularly struggling or you are yourself, do please come back to me so that we can help as best as we can. Do also remember we have a number of people in church who are very willing to help out with practical needs.
As life is perhaps becoming routine and mundane at the moment, we would like to put on a church quiz night over zoom at some point in the next few weeks. We will send out more details when we have them, and when we’ve worked out exactly how to do it, but if you could let me know whether or not a Friday/Saturday night would work best for you that would be really helpful.
“When famine or plague comes to the land, or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers, or when an enemy besieges them in any of their cities, whatever disaster or disease may come, and when a prayer or plea is made by anyone among your people Israel – being aware of the afflictions of their own hearts, and spreading out their hands toward this temple – then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Forgive and act; deal with everyone according to all they do, since you know their hearts (for you alone know every human heart), so that they will fear you all the time they live in the land you gave our ancestors.”1 Kings 8:37-40
Help For Parents! – 22nd April 2020
If you have children in your household I am sure that this is a testing period for your household, especially if you are seeking to work at home.
We would encourage you to make use of the following ministries to assist you in sharing the Lord Jesus with your family:
- The Ark (aimed at pre-school children) live each Friday at 11am – facebook.com/pg/HadleighChurchesArk
- Spring Harvest YouTube Channel Kids Section (various age groups) – youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjF0wwkJiOOrlPusB-e6xTyTvGt6XrgP7
- Sunday stories for families from St Ebbes in Oxford (for all the family) – youtube.com/playlist?list=PLyiMRVhEVNWS_SPlRPba16NrcjwJDpXTG
DVD Availability – 22nd April 2020
As you are aware, we are sharing our Sunday services virtually through our YouTube channel and on our website. We are very encouraged at the number of people that are engaging with this.
However, we are aware that some people do not have online access. We would like to offer to these people the opportunity to watch the services on DVD at a later date.
Therefore, if you know of anyone that would value this please can you let me know – hadleighchurch.co.uk/new-here/contact-us/. I will need to know their name, and their address, as it is probable that we will need to post the majority of these. Please confirm that they also have a DVD player.
Weekly Update – 15th April 2020
I hope you had as good an Easter as was possible in the circumstances and were able to join with us as we celebrated what the meaning of death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is for us. Thank you to all who were able to join with us for the zoom communion service, it was so good to be able to see so many of you coming together to remember the night where Jesus shares the first Lord’s supper with his friends. While we weren’t able to be together physically, it felt very much like we were together in Spirit and that God was meeting with us.
While we were sad to cancel our Easter Egg Hunt for the community, the eggs which we had purchased before the COVID-19 crisis struck us here in the UK were donated to Hadleigh Food Bank who distributed them between the children’s wards in local hospital and families in need in Hadleigh.
One of the highlights of Easter for me was to see Greg leading us in worship and preaching on Good Friday. As most of you will know Greg has been signed off work with CFS since 17 November. Good Friday marked the beginning of Greg’s phased return to work, and in the coming weeks, he will be gradually increasing his hours working towards returning in a full-time capacity. Please pray for Greg, that he may continue to gain strength and energy in the coming days and give thanks for the measure of healing he has received.
The last few weeks have meant there has needed to be a rapid change to how we do church. Thank you all so much for your messages of support, encouragement and all of your prayers. Speaking personally, I am grateful for every one of them. We are still in a season where how we do ministry is being constantly evaluated and refined. Here are a few of the minor changes we would like to make from this week.
On Thursdays at 8.05 pm, we will be hosting a prayer meeting over Zoom. We will enable ‘Break out Rooms’ to enable people to pray with a smaller group of people. The details for this Zoom meeting will remain the same each week.
We would like to make it possible for people to engage with our regular prayer team following the Livestream services and so will be adding another Zoom meeting after the service. This meeting will be run by members of the prayer ministry team and they will set up individual break out rooms to ensure confidentiality.
Sunday Zoom Meeting
We will also be running our regular after church zoom meetings as well. We added ‘Break out rooms’ to the service this week and this enabled us to have smaller groups talking with and encouraging one another.
In previous emails I have outlined how you might continue to give to the work of Hadleigh Baptist Church while we are not meeting at the building, if you would like any further information on this please contact Rob, and he will be able to assist you.
An additional way you could support the church is via Easy Fundraising. There will be no additional cost to you through this method. In these times we are probably doing a lot more online shopping, with Easy Fundraising certain retailers give a percentage of how much you spend to your chosen cause.
Simply go to the Easy Fundraising website https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/hadleighbaptist/. You will be shown a page with a button that says “Support this cause”, click that button. At this point what happens is that you are asked to either sign-up using Facebook, or your email address. Once signed up there will be a donation reminder when you are using your internet browser if the retailer you are purchasing from is part of the Easy Fundraising community a percentage of the spend value will be donated to HBC. Many retailers are part of this community, for example, eBay, Argos, Waitrose, Tesco, Morrison’s, Amazon.
Lastly, we want you to know that we are here as a church for you during this time to support you in any way we can whether it is spiritual or practical. Several people in church are very willing to call you if you are feeling isolated or to help practically should you need it. Please do get in contact should you need us.
Update Video & Letter – 18th March 2020
We live in unprecedented times there has not been a crisis like this for the country since WWII. As Christians we have several responsibilities at this time: To love God, love our church family and love our neighbour.
At the moment, because of the coronavirus situation, loving our neighbour means physically distancing ourselves from people to protect the vulnerable. However, this does not mean church stops, far from it, this is an opportunity to be more like the church should be than ever before!
Initial Response Letter – 14th March 2020
As a leadership team, we feel it is right to keep you updated about our response to the present Covid-19 situation. We want to ensure that everyone who attends Hadleigh Baptist Church is kept as safe as realistically possible. This is not because we are fearful about the situation but because we care for one another. This means that we are going to follow advice from government and other relevant agencies.