Last Updated: 19/03/2020 at 5:00pm
We will be updating this page with our latest information and decisions regarding the events and activities held on our premises.
Date: 19/03/2020 at 5:00pm
Date: 17/03/2020 at 10:30pm
Following the Prime Ministers announcement yesterday evening it is clear that the time has come for us to postpone all of our activities and events. This will include our Sunday services which we will now be moving online. At 11.15am each Sunday morning we will be live streaming a service from our main hall and it will include prayers, sung worship and a sermon. We are also making plans for online activities for our children and young people including downloadable resources for you to do as a family.
We are going to invest our time and energy into two key areas:
- Online resources including our live stream services and other materials and resources including materials for children and young people
- Practical and pastoral support for our church and local communities
We will be sharing more of our plans in these areas over the next few days.
We are really keen to stay as connected as possible over these next few weeks. Please keep checking out our website, Facebook page and other social media channels. If you are aware of people in our community who do not have access to those tools please do try to help them stay up to date.
We are working on a plan to ensure we stay in contact with as many people as possible and in particular with those who are most isolated and vulnerable. We also plan to offer as much practical support as we can.
Please continue to be praying for all those in our healthcare services, Government, those who are vulnerable and anxious at this time.
We have met this morning to consider the various events and activities that we run and what our ongoing response to the ever evolving coronavirus situation should be. We are very aware that many of our events and activities are staffed by our amazing volunteers and we have been keen to give everyone the opportunity to stand down from those roles for the time being should they wish to without any pressure. Activities like our Toddlers group are run entirely by a wonderful team of volunteers many of whom are older or who have underlying health issues and are more vulnerable.
Therefore we have decided that on a temporary basis we will not be running our:
- Tuesday morning ABC Toddlers group
- Tuesday afternoon Ladies Fellowship group
- Sunday afternoon Songs of Praise service
- Children’s and Youth Team Training day this coming Saturday
- Flourish women’s groups
Sadly we have also taken the decision to postpone our Easter Holiday Club for children. However we are hoping to have developed some resources that can be shared via social media and on-line for parents to use with their children during that period.
We continue to work on plans to support those in our community who are most vulnerable or in danger of being most isolated and will start implementing those later this week.
We want to encourage each other to be watching out for people on our streets and in our local community. This is an opportunity for us to live out our heart to be For Andover.
What is the latest ABC response following the Prime Minister’s statement yesterday?
We remain committed (as we stated at the beginning of this crisis) to following the Government’s advice. To that end we plan to continue running our Sunday services. We have plans in place to move our morning services on line should the Government at some stage advise against larger group meetings. We are well prepared and have been rehearsing!
The Government has said anyone with symptoms especially a new, persistent cough and/or a temperature should self-isolate for 7 days and therefore should not attend any of our activities or events.
We will not be serving food or communion elements at our services that require us to share plates or platters. We have plans to do an act of remembrance in place of our usual communion.
We are certain that all of us will want to ensure that we are doing all that we can to protect the most vulnerable in our community, therefore we are:
- asking everyone to refrain from hugs and handshakes and simply greet each other with a warm smile
- suggesting that those who are older and/or who have underlying health conditions think seriously about whether they should be attending larger gatherings and not coming to ABC events for the time being
- offering to all of our volunteers the opportunity to step down from serving during this time particularly for those who are older and/or have underlying health conditions. If you have concerns about your volunteering role, please contact your team leader or the church office on email@example.com or 01264 392032. We will be sending out a more detailed response to all those on our teams on Monday.
We are aware that we are visiting and supporting several people pastorally at the moment. We are considering at what point we should limit this to essential visiting only. For the time being we will check with family members and those who we might visit whether they want us to see them face to face.
We will be working on a pastoral care plan for those who are older or more vulnerable in our community that ensures we remain in contact with people and provide what help we can even if we aren’t visiting in person.
Going forwards – let’s pray
Above all please do continue to keep praying. Pray for those in authority having to make really difficult decisions. Pray for those suffering from the virus or from worry and anxiety about it. Pray that God would prompt us of what we can do to help and protect those in need. And let’s remember what Paul said in his letter to the people in Philippi “…in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
Go to this link for the latest Government Guidance: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public
What is coronavirus?
A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease. Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China.
If you want to read Chris Porter’s post from several days ago you can read it here: https://andoverbaptist.org.uk/2020/03/05/coronavirus-response