Superintendents Letter - 6th January 2021
As we enter the new year with a with the prospect of a difficult and challenging few months ahead, please read a letter from our Superintendents below.
Dear sisters and brothers in the Birmingham Methodist Circuit,
We hope that you are all keeping safe and well in this week when the UK Chief Medical Officers have moved the alert level from Tier 4 to Tier 5 (red).
On Monday evening the Prime Minister announced a national lockdown with the message to Stay at home - Save Lives - Protect the NHS. The Government guidance states that we may leave home to attend an act of communal worship. However, as Professor Whitty has said in recent times, "just because you can, doesn't mean you should."
In the light of this, the Circuit Superintendents and Circuit Stewards strongly advise that Churches do not meet for communal worship. The District Chair has also sent out a communication with the same message which is included below.For information about specific guidance from the Methodist Church, please click here.
Individual Church Councils and Managing Trustees continue to be responsible for making decisions during this new lockdown.
Our thoughts and prayers are very much with you and the communities we serve at this very challenging time.
Kind regards and every blessing to you all,
The Circuit Superintendents and Circuit Stewards
Letter from the Chair of the Birmingham Methodist District
Dear friends and colleagues,
This comes with every good wish for the New Year, and a prayer that you will know the sustaining grace of God as we go forward into the uncertainties and challenges before us.
I am aware that only Church Councils or the Connexion as a whole can make the decision to close churches for communal worship. However, given the spread of the virus and the Government announcement yesterday, in consultation with deputy and assistant Chairs, our strong advice is that for the duration of the lockdown we close churches for public worship.
I am conscious of the immense amount of work people have done with risk assessments to make churches as safe as they can be, but all the advice is that we should not be encouraging people to meet together at the moment, and given the age of many in our congregations, including those in leadership positions, I am sure at the moment it is best to suspend worship.
As before, this presents us with the challenge of how we do enable people to know the support and care of the church, and continue to be part of a praying, worshipping community, and I know many of you will be working out how best to do that in your context. To support that the District online service will continue on Sunday mornings. At present we are committed to a service on the first and third Sundays of the month, but we will review that in consultation with the superintendents later in the week.
It is a real challenge to minister and truly be the church in these days. Those of us in leadership roles face our own personal challenges, at a time when the need for the church’s ministry is greater than ever. I pray that we will find ways of accessing support and supporting each other, so that we may continue to support and minister to God’s people within and beyond the church.
May God bless you in all you do,
Ian Howarth | Chair of District
Birmingham Methodist District
Get in Touch
You can contact a member of the circuit team, including the Superintendents, by visiting our contact us page here.