COVID Update March 17, 2020
Recent directives from both government and health authorities have put the emphasis on limiting the size of public gatherings and reducing human contact (“social distancing”) to slow the spread of the coronavirus. We take our duty of care to you and wider public seriously and we want to limit the chance of people at St Alfred’s contracting this disease or inadvertently passing it on.
What is Stopping?
As a response to this we are taking the unprecedented step of closing all activities at St Alfred’s. There will be no worship services held and no activities or groups will meet on site at St Alfred’s until further notice. All our regular ministries are suspended for the time being. The youth camp has also been cancelled. We will review this on April 1 with a view to Easter services.
What is Continuing?
Staff members will continue to work and be available to you. Please be in touch by telephone or email.
Growth Groups will continue. We encourage you to keep meeting in these smaller groups in your homes to support one another. Please observe appropriate hygiene and distancing protocols to maintain safety for all concerned. Also feel free not to meet if you are uncomfortable or unwell. If that is the case, try to find other ways to stay in touch with one another, perhaps using technology or simply calling one another.
We ask Growth Groups to make an extra effort to care for one another and look to caring for others who may be feeling anxious or isolated. If you are not in a Growth Group you might like to get in one for this special period. Contact Mike McNamara or Bronwyn Fernando to help with this.
Prayer meetings can meet in your homes. Please keep praying for the welfare of our community and for God to help us in this difficult time. Also pray that God will show us how to be good news to our community. Reflect on Jesus as “the light of the world” shining in the darkness (John 8:12).
We will put some worship resources online that you can use in your Growth Groups or at home. At the moment we are exploring options of video recording sermons, music and prayers. We will also explore resources for children and youth.
I am forming a small COVID-19 Advisory Group (answerable to Parish Council) who will assist me as we respond to this ongoing situation. The group will comprise of some doctors from St Alfred’s and a couple of the churchwardens.
We will continue to communicate with you via the website, email, telephone and Facebook. We are very conscious that “social distancing” can lead to social isolation and we want to maintain contact as best we can. If you become aware of a member of St Alfred’s who is feeling isolated please let us know or invite them to your Growth Group.
These decisions have been made by the Parish Council as a way of caring for you and caring for the wider community. We will all be sad and grieve the loss of our usual church life. Feel free to contact a staff member or me if you want to talk about how you are feeling.
God is a good God and I am sure he can use this period for his own good purposes. We live by faith and not by fear.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
Rev Peter MacPherson