Coronavirus pandemic: Church message

Update post-19th July 2021

While social distancing restrictions have been been lifted from 19th July 2021 the pandemic is not over. Please see below for some notes about Heath Street Baptist Church’s response to what is still a difficult time.

1. Please DO NOT attend the church premises for any reason if you display any symptoms of COVID-19 (high temperature, new continuous cough, loss or change to sense of smell or taste) or if you have been asked to isolate by NHS Test and Trace. To this end, we are encouraging everyone to use the QR codes at the entrances to the buildings to assist with contact tracing. Please do ask for help if needed.

2. All attendees are asked to follow government guidance on self-isolation after symptoms and/or positive test/contact tracing/returning from foreign travel.

3. Those who vulnerable should consider whether to attend in person: all services will be screened over Zoom to allow those shielding, and those who choose to continue not to attend physically, to participate virtually. 

4. Some may choose to keep their distance from those not in their household, bubble, or close friendship group. Therefore, before getting too close to others, please check they are happy for you to do so. For example, please ask before you sit next to someone when you arrive for a service of worship.

5. We continue to encourage you to wash your hands regularly, preferably with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. We will also ensure hand sanitiser is available at strategic points around the buildings.

6. If you have any needs, questions or concerns please contact the minister.

In conclusion, these words from the Baptist Union of Great Britain are helpful:

"We are acutely aware that the process for making decisions going forward has the potential to be divisive. In some respects, it was easier when rules were more restrictive but at least definite. How we make decisions may prove to be as important to churches as the decisions themselves. We appeal to everyone involved to be kind to each other, to listen well, to appreciate the pressure leaders are under, and to compromise accordingly. This is a very vulnerable time for churches and we ask you to recall the exhortation in Ephesians 4 to 'be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace'."


Update June 2021

Oldtime Nursery and the Heath Street Choir will restart in the church in the first and second weeks of September 2021 respectively (respecting all necessary Covid-19 measures).


Update May 2021

We will be restarting live worship on Sunday 23 May 2021, with roughly the same Covid-restrictions in place as last time (although probably with refreshments outside). More details to follow.

Storymaker's Club has resumed in the church from 12 May 2021, and will be taking place on Wednesdays from 3:30 - 6:30 pm and on Thursdays from 4:30 - 6:00 pm. The Club will take place in the church respecting all necessary Covid-19 measures.


Update January 2021

Activities held in the church have been suspended again during the current national lockdown. Services will take place on Zoom live from the church and will be followed by after-church Zoom coffee, both using the following link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87179878823. Our lecture series on Fridays will continue online as before.

For more information about the current position with individual activities, please click on the links on the Activities page.


Update December 2020

Services are now being held in the church again following the second national lockdown. We have reorganised the space to facilitate social distancing, and ask that everyone wears a face covering while in the church (unless exempt) and sanitises their hands on arrival. You will also be asked to give a telephone number or e-mail address for the purposes of contact tracing. All surfaces are thoroughly disinfected between services. Our special team of COVID-19 stewards will be on hand to guide you when you arrive, to ensure that you feel safe. For more information, please visit the Worship page.

Our Children's Sunday Club and Storymaker's Club have also returned (respecting all social distancing guidelines). Other activities will continue online or remain suspended for now. For more information about the current position with individual activities, please click on the links on the Activities page.


Update November 2020

Activities held in the church have been suspended again during the second national lockdown. Services will take place on Zoom live from the church, and will be followed by after-church Zoom coffee. The Zoom link will be sent to the church circulation list.

Our Children's Sunday Club and Storymaker's Club have been cancelled during the lockdown, and will return on 6 and 9 December 2020 respectively (respecting all social distancing guidelines.)


Update September 2020

Services are now being held in the church again. We have reorganised the space to facilitate social distancing, and ask that everyone wears a face mask while in the church (unless exempt) and sanitises their hands on arrival. You will also be asked to give a telephone number or e-mail address for the purposes of contact tracing. All surfaces are thoroughly disinfected between services. Our special team of COVID-19 stewards will be on hand to guide you when you arrive, to ensure that you feel safe. For more information, please visit the Worship page.


Update September 2020

The church has been closed to visitors in recent months because of the Coronavirus pandemic. Those activities which are now taking place in the church again will do so respecting all social distancing guidelines – please contact Wilf Merttens (the Church Secretary) at stanleywilfridmerttens@googlemail.com for more details and with any questions. Other activities will continue online or remain suspended for now.

For more information about the current position with individual activities, please click on the links on the Activities page.


Update March 2020

Heath Street will be doing all it can to respond pastorally and practically to the Coronavirus epidemic.

The Baptist Union of Great Britain has published 'Advice for Churches' which can be accessed here:

https://www.baptist.org.uk/Groups/337630/Coronavirus.aspx

The advice, as of 17 March, is that 'Sunday services should not now take place' We will therefore be suspending Sunday services until further notice, and we would value your prayerful support as we seek to develop a context where we can be a meaningful faith community whilst physically isolated from each other.

For details of the Heath Street Home Companion (on online replacement for the time being of Sunday worship and a slice of our community's life) click here.

We ask everyone to remember before God those who are vulnerable and lonely, and those who are facing financial hardship as a result of this evolving situation. If you are aware of anyone in crisis or particular need, please contact our Minister at the email address on the website.

Further updates will appear on this page as the situation evolves.


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