As a church leadership we write to communicate our current status and advise on best practice with regards to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
We do not yet intend to stop any of our gatherings or ministry events, but do encourage everyone to follow best practice which can be found at:
Latest UK Government information for the public on the outbreak of Coronavirus, including the current situation in the UK and information about the virus and its symptoms. Updated daily at 2pm
Current advice is that individuals should follow good hygiene practices including:
Church of England https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-churches
Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for churches - last updated on Tuesday 3rd March 2020.
At present, there is no Government advice that suggests the use of the Common Cup at Communion should be suspended, but the Church of England has made specific recommendations for best hygiene practice, which we are following. This includes:
carrying tissues and using them to catch coughs and sneezes, and binning the tissue;
washing hands with soap and water (for 20 seconds) or using sanitiser gel to kill germs
avoiding close contact with people who are unwell
not touching your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Avoiding dipping bread into the wine (called "intinction" - a wonderful word but unknown to most of us)
church members with coughs and colds should refrain from handshaking and should receive communion with the bread alone
servers should use an alcohol based sanitiser
Graham Stuart (one of our Church Wardens and a Senior Health Care Professional) is our church's lead person on this matter, and can advise ministry leaders, small community leaders or church volunteers on any specific or general questions on the impact of Coronavirus on church activities or ministries. He can be contacted here.
Please consult the websites listed above, which are updated daily or as new advice becomes available, rather than contacting Graham for general or personal advice – but please do alert Graham of any concerns you may have which relate specifically to Christ Church.
Above all, please continue to pray – for all who are infected; for all who are bereaved; for all who are fearful; for all the agencies working across the globe to contain this outbreak and to find a vaccine; and for Christians as we seek to bear faith to our hope in Jesus in the face of fear and uncertainty about the future.
With our love and prayers
Paul Langham (Vicar), Mark Parsons (Operations Manager)
Graham Stuart & Catherine Simmonds (Church Wardens)