URGENT : Circuit Breaker for Sundays
I am aware that there have been comments today that perhaps it is wise to consider whether or not we have worship in person this Sunday, in the light of the number of cases of Covid this week across the church family, and relatives. The cases that have occurred in the worshipping congregation have in all probability arisen from a variety of contacts, but the sudden surge of cases among the church family cannot be ignored.
Public Health Guidance
I have checked the latest public health guidance, and while that is not promoting closing schools or workplaces, it is drawing attention to the continuing high level of underlying infection rates. In fact the underlying levels are considerably higher than they were in earlier phases. As such, mask wearing and caution about large groups is still being recommended in the public health setting.
While the risk of serious illness is much lower, the large number of people affected increases the proportional risk of a few people being very ill indeed, and we want to avoid that at all costs.
I have also had input from the Church Officers, Secretary – John, the Treasurer – Simon, and also from the Choirmaster – Frank, and I have noted the comments from members online.
We have jointly agreed that Christ Church is at risk of creating ‘spreader events’ through its Sunday worship as things stand, and therefore we should attempt a ‘circuit breaker’. This circuit breaker will last for two weeks, Sunday 30th January and Sunday 6th February. We want to be back for Sunday 13th February as that is the baptism of Robyn and Nick’s baby, Livvy. The Annual Church Meeting was scheduled for 6th February, but that can be re-scheduled at a later date.
This would not have been the case without this outbreak of cases at Christ Church. We have taken decisions over the last two years to ‘stay safe’ and we have been remarkably successful and fortunate in the safe outcomes of those decisions. We can be no less careful in this local situation at this immediate time, whether or not the whole world is moving to the same tune. We must protect our own close community.
For these two Sundays I will provide a live Sunday service online on the Church’s YouTube Channel at 10.45 each Sunday. The broadcast will start a few minutes before that as usual for you to ‘get into it’. The service will be from my desk at home, with Gwen’s help. You can join in the service at any time after that.
The link to the YouTube channel is https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSW4Xc2zRwtNLgPBvDv-bUQ
Or you can get there by searching [YouTube Christ Church Stocksbridge]
If you don’t see the service on YouTube look in the [Uploads] link or look for [All Past Livestreams] or similar.
Because of the timescales involved, I have had to take action after this agreement among the officers.
Christine is speaking to David Andrews, one of the Local Preachers, who was due to lead the service this week. He himself is elderly and vulnerable and has been taking great care over his shielding.
With more time I would have preferred to send this email to the Leadership Team with a consultation stage for you to share thoughts back to me before taking action. But I feel events this week have overtaken that stage. I hope you understand. I am still ready to receive feedback or comments if you want to.
I hope that we can make every effort among ourselves to make contact with people who are not on this email. I will put something on WhatsApp tomorrow, but we know that there are some who are not on WhatsApp. Please will each of you make every effort you can to pass this message on to people you think need to get it. Please don’t wait thinking someone else will get it. I will put this on the Church website, so that this text will be there for you to advise people to refer to if they want to. I have included Frank and Roger in this email for their information
Love and Prayers
It only remains for me to send you all my love and prayers, especially to those who are sick with Covid, however slightly, because the fear of contagion is ever present for them all with their loved ones and for their own swift recovery.
Wednesday 26th January 2022