Howard Kellett
Corornavirus Sunday 15th March 2020

Hi Godfirst

 As I’m sure you are aware (how could you miss it!) that the response to Coronavirus has stepped up this week in the UK.

 I am confident of the government's staged response. I heard an interesting piece this morning on BBC radio from a government advisor suggesting that the best we can hope for is a delayed response. That over time most of us will eventually catch the virus and build up an immune response which will add to the “herd immunity” that resists the spread of a contagious disease within the wider population.  The concern with Coronavirus is that pregnant women, anyone over the age of 60, those with underlying health conditions are all particularly at risk of being unable to fight off the infection

 As a church leadership team, we feel we need to follow the staged response advice. We must not give in to fear or panic but be wise and follow the advice of those with expertise in this matter.  We may sooner or later need to move to meeting in Godfirst Communities on Sunday mornings but this is not the case at present. So please do come to Godfirst this Sunday!

We therefore at this stage will be taking these practical precautions on Sunday.

  1. If you have a persistent dry cough or high temperature, we would kindly ask that you stay at home this Sunday and self-isolate for at least 7 days. If this is you, please let us know. We'd love to pray for you and support you in any practical way that we can.
  2. If you have any ongoing health issues please check with NHS websites or, where appropriate, your GP before attending gatherings like ours on Sunday. This is especially important if you are elderly, a cancer patient, are pregnant, you have lung or heart disease or diabetes.
  3. At this point we have not been able to source hand sanitiser. So please bring your own handwash so you can wash your hands when you arrive this Sunday. Please do wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds and singing is definitely encouraged!
  4. Please do cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or at worst cough into your sleeve. 
  5. As much as possible, please avoid touching your face.
  6. For everyone's protection we will be making some small changes to the way we do welcome, including not shaking hands or hugging. I know, it's a hard habit to break, but please do make every effort to avoid it.
  7. We will not be doing communion together.
  8. We will not be providing communal coffee or biscuits, or kids' snacks. We ask people to bring their own water, flasks and snacks etc.
  9. We will be wiping down door handles or any frequently touched surfaces. 
  10. We will be ventilating the lower hall. Evidence of transmission is lower in well ventilated areas/ outside. 

On 15th March Christopher gave a pastoral response to Coronavirus and we are working on adding it to our media page but let me say at this stage,  "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." (Phil. 4: 6)

We are constantly reviewing this situation as a leadership team and will keep you in touch as we move forward together.

Yours in Jesus,