You will, no doubt, have heard an announcement in the press last week that the government intends to allow places of worship to open for private prayer shortly and you may be wondering what this will mean for WURC.
Most denominations are beginning to issue detailed risk assessments outlining what preparations and plans would have to be addressed before any such opening could be considered. What is very clear is that opening even for private prayer would be complex and require the building to be staffed to ensure social distancing, cleaning and other precautions were adhered to correctly. No gatherings can take place (such a prayer meetings, coffee mornings or services) so we wouldn’t have any opportunity to meet and chat together.
We therefore feel that hurrying to offer this type of opening is not the right thing at the moment. The risk from the virus is still very real and we need to tread carefully to ensure everyone is protected. That said, please be assured that work is going on behind the scenes all the time to prepare the building for the time when we can return. We expect this happen in stages but can’t at the moment give any indication of when this might be.
Our Property Committee have been working hard during this lockdown, progressing work on our building. It is hoped that the kitchen redevelopment can begin in a few weeks time and that other work can be completed in due course. It is easier and safer for contractors to work in an empty building so we are trying to use this time well.
We are all missing gathering together, and as time ticks by this does get harder for all of us. My frequent conversations with other church leaders, both in the URC and beyond, indicate that everyone is wrestling with the tension between longing to open up again and the knowledge that the risk of Covid-19 will remain with us for sometime. For now we will remain closed but please be assured that every time the government makes a relevant announcement, it will be given careful and prayerful consideration.
Once again I want to reiterate that we understand this is a very difficult time for everyone. We continue to be a church family despite not being able to meet together and I encourage you to reach out for support when you need it. Our team of staff, elders and pastoral assistants are here for you.
Sending love and continued prayer for you all,