Prayerfully, carefully, slowly
Everyone will have seen that the Government is allowing churches to open for worship subject to various conditions with effect from 4 July. We know that many of you will be keen for that to happen but we also know that there is a lot of uncertainty and anxiety about starting to go out and about. On top of that, there will be some people in our churches who will not be able to leave their homes to come to church or will be advised not to do so. Our priority has to be to care for everyone as best we can. That means that we need to look at ways of opening our churches for those who want to be there, whilst at the same time making sure it is as safe as it can be.
The guidance from the Government and the Methodist Church changes frequently and there will be new guidance about re-opening Methodist church buildings for worship following the latest Government announcement. That will certainly involve work to be done and supplies and equipment to be purchased. We won't be able to re-open our churches until we have worked through all those things and satisfied ourselves that the arrangements we make are sound but we will move as quickly as we safely can. At the same time we need to think about how we will continue to care for those who can't come to church or feel anxious about coming and also people who have engaged with what we do online but are not church goers.
Many people think that, as Methodist churches, we should take the opportunity to re-think what the church should be like in the new coronavirus world. We would like to find ways of talking about all that alongside the careful steps we take to re-open our buildings. We continue to be the church of Christ, active in our communities through worship, prayer and service.