It is regrettable that I announce;
In light of our ongoing consultations and of the current serious and worsening situation, and in line with unequivocal public health guidance that people should stay at home, the General Council, acting with the delegated authority of the General Assembly, has directed that, for a limited period (from Friday 8th January until Saturday 6th February 2021 inclusive, subject to review in late January) all in-person Sunday gatherings for worship, along with all other in person church gatherings, should cease in all PCI congregations in Northern Ireland.
The service will continue to be available online this Sunday via Zoom and Facebook live. Later in the day the telephone service will be updated and link to service put on church website.
Yours in the Lord's service
Good morning everyone.
You are all aware of how beginning at 00:01 on December 26, 2020 a series of Covid-19 restrictions will be introduced. These restrictions will be in place for six weeks, subject to review at four weeks, and will no doubt have a major impact on all of our society and on all of our lives as individuals and families. While full written details are awaited, the Minister of Health has formally announced that during the new six week lockdown “places of worship can remain open under strict conditions”.
It is expected that the current strict conditions will continue to remain in force and should be carefully applied and followed at all services.
As a result I remind you that as of last week it is requires while entering and exiting the building and any gathering outside that face coverings are mandatory and 2 meter social distancing is to be maintained while on the church grounds. This means after the service, if the weather allows as we meet and chat outside that we wear face coverings and maintain social distancing.
Next Sunday we meet as allowed under strict conditions for morning and evening worship, Rev Hiram Higgins will be leading morning worship while Rev Scott Woodburn will be leading evening Worship. But regulations will state that no indoor or outdoor gatherings of any kind is permitted after 20:00 and before 06:00 on these days. It means evening worship must be finished, and the meetinghouse empty and closed, before 8pm.
Once again we face the news that we will be entering another lockdown and the decision our executive has made based on the scientific advice that Churches should close over this period. In the midst of this we should pause and be grateful for the uninterrupted months of meeting together that we have been blessed with. However I appreciate that many of you will find this news disappointing or even incredibly difficult to face, as we look ahead I encourage you, in the midst of our troubles to look to Christ, to rest in Him and to know that He is Righteous and in control.
On a more practical note, this Sunday will be the last time we will be able to meet together in person and so I would encourage you to try to attend both morning and evening services. At these services there will be more information as to how to access services both online and by telephone over these coming weeks. The provisional date for resumption of corporate worship is Sunday 13th December and we pray that this will indeed be the case.
Yours In Christ,