Superintendents Letter - 24th June 2020
Below is this week's letter from our Superintendents, looking ahead to the decisions to be made in the coming weeks and the work to be done if we are to begin to re-open our churches for worship at this time.
A photograph taken in July 2017 at our end of Holy Habits event at Shirley Methodist Church, where welcomers await the first arrivals to the event.
Dear sisters and brothers of the Birmingham Methodist Circuit,
As I’m sure you are aware, the Government have now announced that it is possible for Churches to re-open for worship from July 4th. During this time of transition, we will be working together to ensure that we can re-open safely and in accordance with the Government guidelines. The Methodist Church will be issuing their updates for the re-opening of Church buildings in the light of the most recent news. Please note that at the present time the Government and Methodist guidance only allows for the possibility of reopening Churches for worship and not for user groups, other than essential services and Pre-Schools and Nurseries. Further updates for user groups will be sent out as we receive new guidance from the Methodist Church.
Since the Government suggested a July return as a possibility, there have been many different responses and we wonder what you are thinking in your Churches (you may have other thoughts of course)?
- To get back to worship as soon as possible at some point in July or August. Do work on the risk assessments and checklists and prepare the building for worship according to all guidelines in the coming weeks. Communicate with user groups to begin planning for their return, perhaps in a phased return, when permission is given.
- Plan for a return hopefully in September or some time in the Autumn giving more time to make the required preparations.
- Not to consider a return until we have had a proper opportunity for reflection and a conversation about the future of our Church, and the future of “Church” in the light of having lived through the lockdown.
Of course, 2 and 3 are not exclusive, it is possible for both of those to happen.
Last week, all the Birmingham District Superintendents met with the Chair of District, and it was suggested that Churches proceed with care and caution, and for Churches to consider the following two questions before returning to our buildings;
- What have we done during lockdown that we want to continue when we return to our buildings?
- What do we not want to do when we return to our buildings that we did before lockdown?
As we journey through the coming weeks and months, we will continue to support one another as a Connexional Church and hold one another in prayer. We also seek to be guided by the Holy Spirit as we contemplate how we might take this opportunity to re-imagine how we serve the present age and become the Church that God is calling us to be.
Yours in Christ,
Alison, Neil and Nick
Birmingham Methodist Circuit
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