Coronavirus advice : Updated 17 March 15:00
It is with sadness that we recommend that worship services in Methodist Churches are suspended for the time being in line with Government guidance. We would encourage people who lead services to think about how worship might be offered in different ways, including online and using worship at home sheets.
During this incredibly difficult time when people might want to spend time in prayer in their Methodist Church. Local trustees should consider whether it is possible to open up their churches to enable people to come and pray or sit quietly, perhaps offering prayer stations as a point of reflection with precautions around physical distancing.
Suspending services means that we advise that baptisms will not take place in public worship and if you have a wedding planned in a Methodist Church you should speak to your minister. While funerals may still take place, we would advise that the number of people attending is limited as per the Government’s advice.
In terms of Church business, we recommend that all meetings including church councils and circuit meetings should be cancelled. Districts chairs will be in touch about Synods. The next meeting of the Methodist Council has been suspended and we will advise on how essential business will be carried out. We will be issuing further advice on this.
Other community activities:
Foodbanks and night shelters: If your church runs a foodbank or night shelter please take notice of all the advice that has been given by the Government and the NHS. If you are concerned about older volunteers we advise that (in line with the guidance) they should stay at home. The Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) have produced a simple guide on how you can support foodbanks during the coronavirus pandemic.
Other community events like lunch clubs, after school clubs, playgroups and fellowship groups should be suspended.
Pastoral visits: in these extraordinary times, pastoral support is incredibly important and it’s likely it may increase but we would advise that you contact people by phone in the first instance to check they are still happy for you to go in person. If you’re visiting a care home or hospital take your guidance from them. You should also be mindful of updated safeguarding guidance which you can find here.
Our KMC Minister Rev Rob Cotton has added his own P.S. to the above, as follows:
We MUST follow the guidelines which have been put into place.
We will need to support each other prayerfully and practically at this time, but I feel that we are responding very quickly to an ever changing situation. Thank you all for your support and for all that you are doing at this time to minister to others.
In addition to our 10am KMC website services each Sunday, our local Ministers are each doing “broadcasts” each weekday (i.e. Mon-Fri) as follows:
Between 9 and 10am : Scott Manning’s “Thought for the Day” on his Facebook page, and also on the main Knutsford Methodist (KMC) Whatsapp Group.
Between 10 and 11am : Neal Stanton’s daily devotion on his Facebook page, often copied on to the main Knutsford Methodist (KMC) Whatsapp Group shortly afterwards.
Between 12noon and 1pm : Rob Cotton’s “Daily Devotion”, on his Facebook page, usually copied on to the main Knutsford Methodist (KMC) Whatsapp Group shortly afterwards.
n.b. all times are “approx.”.
If you own a smartphone and want to join the KMC Whatsapp Group, please contact Carol Cotton.
Stay safe everyone.
Yours in Christ,