COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information
This page will be used to highlight information on how the church is responding to the current situation with Coronavirus.
The latest updates make provision for some church activities to happen on the church premises. These are happening in line with government guidance. If you are planning to attend, please note the following guidance:
The guidance over the last couple of months has been consistent that churches are able to open. As a church we have prepared a risk assessment, and with appropriate cleaning and other mitigations, the church is now opening each week - but we are actively inviting attendees, rather than having a walk in service. This allows us to prioritise a small group who do not easily have access to the Facebook Live stream, and then to bring a few in at a time so that all our regular attenders have the opportunity to attend, albeit occasionally.
The majority of church activity is still online. The latest schedule is shown below. The Schedule for the church at present is largely based on Facebook. Most of the video streams will happen on the Chelmsford Community Church Page on Facebook accessible here.
May 26th: The latest guidance for churches suggest that the earliest date for opening would be 4th July. We expect, however, that this will require social distancing, so we will plan to open what is sensible, but will also continue to have a presence on line. Our online schedule is listed below - and has been updated for June. Please note that we expect that the Devotions on Monday and Thursday may need to move time; we will advertise that when we know!
The Schedule for the church at present is largely based on Facebook. Most of the video streams will happen on the Chelmsford Community Church Page on Facebook accessible here.
(June schedule removed)
This is the updated guidance to the church, following the Prime Minister's broadcast on Monday March 22nd:
I am sure that everyone is aware that the government has had to direct everyone to stay at home as much as is possible over these next weeks.
It is absolutely right for us all to stay as safe as we can while we endure this season.
The church had already made the decision to suspend all gatherings, based on the guidance last week. Therefore, the impact of the latest statements simply is that the Facebook videos – whether recorded or live streamed – will move from the church building to be done at home. The schedule that we have already communicated still stands:
Weekdays and Saturdays at 2:30pm: Chris and Peter will alternate streaming of video. This will include short messages, and where appropriate, news and updates from around the church. These videos may be live, or pre-recorded.
Chris will post on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
Peter will post on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays
Sundays: Chris will livestream at 10:30am in place of our morning services.
We will continue in taking communion – on alternate Sundays and Saturdays. We invite you to watch live on those days, ready with a piece of bread and some juice/wine or alternative, so that we can take communion together. Peter led us in communion last Saturday, so we will include it as part of the livestream on Sunday 29th March, alternating from then.
In addition, Helen and Phil will publish some material each Friday in lieu of our Sunday children’s activities. Teaching, games, etc. – they will give you some ideas to do with your children over the weekend.
We will, for this time, need to base much of what we do from home. However, while still operating within the government guidelines, we do want to keep Lifeline Larder open as an emergency supply. We will send out a separate notice on this shortly!
Staying in touch
Do please email or message us. We are here to support and care. Check out our Facebook page and group as well as our website.
And so we adapt. We need to be responsible – but we need to stay focused on the things that matter. We are realising again that people matter. We are learning to appreciate the skills of those we depend on, and we are learning that small acts of kindness can make a massive difference.
Several weeks ago I used the phrase that “there are no bunker mentalities here”. It was of the church, that we need to be outward looking and not introverted. Well here we are, we may be separated and under limitations of our physical activity – but we still have a choice to make. Do we simply look in, or do we rise above that?
There are practical things to do – so we have to look after ourselves and our families, but we need to keep on looking up at God and out at other people. We need to keep on praying, praying and praying some more. So stay strong in him, and stay in touch with each other.
Bless you all,
The letter below is the one sent out by email and on Facebook to highlight our response. The email was sent out on 18/03/2020:
I promised to update everyone on the church’s response to the latest advice on Coronavirus/COVID-19. Government advice is to avoid social gatherings – which has a clear impact on churches. It is now time to acknowledge those impacts on Chelmsford Community Church.
Sadly, with immediate effect, we now have to suspend our organised gatherings to comply with government guidelines. This applies to all of our organised meetings – Sunday services, community groups, afternoon tea and craft groups.
The Church of England has given strong advice to their churches. Ground Level has given similar guidance to churches that it oversees. It is only right that we behave responsibly in helping people to stay safe.
However – church is not defined by meetings. The church, when scattered, is still the church. We stand together in the name of Jesus Christ and we stand together as brothers, sisters and friends.
So we encourage you to call, email, and stay in contact. We will develop our online activity as swiftly as possible, using the website, Facebook and Youtube as well as we can. Keep your eyes and ears open as we get these up and running over the next couple of days. We will promote support to each other, especially to those who may be more isolated or vulnerable in these circumstances.
As well as our online activity, we are hoping we can open our doors on Sunday morning from 9:30am to 11:30pm. But this is not for services. It is to give an opportunity to come, pray and then move on swiftly. A prayer “drop in” if you like, with worship music on in the background.
For many people (indeed, for most people) the right response is to simply stay safe. But for the few who can, the church will be available for prayer. We will ensure that there is appropriate social distancing and will encourage a swift turnaround. Indeed, we will only do this if we can keep it safe.
Similarly I’m sad to say that we have had to suspend our work with the rough sleepers. However, we are liaising with local councillors to check what support will be available to help these people. We are also building up the Lifeline Larder so that we can use that as a resource to help in these days. I am sure that there will be more – and will update you regularly!
If you want to make a contribution to the larder then please let us know and we can arrange a time to drop it off.
If you need help then let us know. Use the prayer chain for prayer requests. We are still here, and we’re not going away!
In the meantime…
Prayer remains a priority. Keep on praying! God is still God. That doesn’t change. Fill your house with worship (there are plenty of videos on Youtube!).
We may be forced apart physically for a short while – but we are still together in Him.
Bless you all,