27th March 2020
The full impact of the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic is now hitting home. These are truly extraordinary times; and we are having to rethink many aspects of the life of the church.
In the light of our concerns and anxiety, we are being drawn to the deep wells of our faith:
“Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
May that be a truth that we live every day and every night.
I need to share with you some practical matters – just to get them out of the way
We are all too aware that these are challenging times for all of us; and that some people will have real worries about their own personal finances. But we do need to mention money. The plain fact is that the life of the church continues, and we continue to need money. Nearly all of our outgoings are spent on ministers’ stipends, the pay of lay employees, and our contribution to the life of the wider church. Nearly all our income comes from the personal giving of members and friends. Some churches will have lost rental income.
If you normally give to the church by directly putting an offering into the collection plate week by week – thank you! Please can you remember that we still need this money, even if we are not able to gather for worship.
Your local church may well be in touch with you to see if there are ways in which we can help each other with giving. You may be able to set up a standing order with your bank, or make payments by online banking, to enable regular giving. We are also looking at ways in which people may be able to give online.
Any help that you can give us is vital.
Keeping in Touch
We are all finding it difficult to keep in touch with other people; some of us more than others - especially those who do not have access to the internet. The new restrictions on staying at home make it is even more difficult to deliver personally written worship materials like some of us sent out last weekend.
We are doing everything we can to work out ways of keeping in touch. If we need to use the postal service, we will do. This may take us a few days; but we are working on it! In the meantime, we’re encouraging all our members and friends to be in touch on the phone (especially with those might who otherwise be isolated). If you can think of someone you may be able to help and encourage in this way – please do! If you need help or a listening ear, don’t be afraid to ask.
I know that you will join with us in praying for those in the caring professions at this time, who are putting themselves at risk to help others; and in praying for those who are ill and those who care for them. Please pray too for our staff.
Yours in Christ,
Superintendent Minister, on behalf of the North Cheshire Methodist Circuit