ALL CHURCH GROUP ACTIVITIES
POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE OR CANCELLED
(THE FITZJOHNS FOOD BANK WILL BE CONTINUING AS NORMAL)
Christ Church (Lewes) and Cross Way Church (Seaford)
Statement addressing the impact of the coronavirus disease
Issued Wednesday 18th March 2020
by the Trustees of the respective Church congregations
Letter from the Pastorate’s Minister, Rev. Andrew Mills
In line with the advice given during Parliamentary questions yesterday evening with the Health Minister, Matt Hancock, about religious organisations the Church and all its activities need to be closed due to Coronavirus. This follows the pattern of action being taken by the UK’s mainstream denominations.
With real sadness the Trustees now need to formally agree to close the Church’s services and all activities until further notice.
We do not have control over groups who meet in homes rather than on the church premises, but we do urge you to make a decision that best protects the health and wellbeing of every person in your group, as well as their families who would also be affected by your choices.
What happens about worship, pastoral care etc? We do not yet know all that we might do to support the church and maintain its witness, but I was struck by the words of the Archbishop of Canterbury today that, “far from having to “shut up shop”, the Church of England must face the challenge by becoming a radically different kind of church rooted in prayer and serving others…..Our life is going to be less characterised by attendance at church on Sunday, and more characterised by the prayer and service we offer each day.”
For now the best thing to say is simply this: Keep in touch with one another, and keep praying for one another.
Remember, this is temporary
Nobody knows when churches will be able to resume gathering to worship. But a worldwide virus outbreak does not mean that Jesus has fallen off his throne! He remains King and we are a people of hope who constantly look forward to the day when he will bring sorrow and sickness to an end and make all things new.
In the meantime we are called to live our daily lives in a way that demonstrates that he really is our Lord and our Saviour. As Saint Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
‘For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:35-39 (NIVUK)
In the words of the prayer published on the Methodist website today, so we too pray:
when we fall, you quietly pick us up;
when we fear, you gently hold on to us;
when the future looks bleak, you nudge us onwards,
until at last we find ourselves
in the place you would have us be.
May God bless you and strengthen you, make his light shine on you and give you peace.
Yours in Christ Jesus,