Despite the worry and sadness associated with the ongoing global coronavirus outbreak, there have been numerous opportunities for communities to come together in novel and creative ways.
Whilst many of us have faced the bewildering experience of having our calendars wiped clean for the foreseeable future, many churches have been adapting to the situation by taking services online and by using social media to keep communities connected.
At St John’s Lindow, in Wilmslow, the vicar wanted to find a way for the church family to keep doing as God says.
“let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another”
New Testament, Hebrews Chapter 10, verses 24-25
Rev Simon Gales said: “Meeting regularly around God’s word, the Bible, to be taught, to pray and to sing songs of praise, thanksgiving and encouragement is a really important part of following Jesus.
“And so we were eager to work out how to meet together when we couldn’t be in the same room (or latterly leave our homes!)”
He explained: “On Sunday 22nd March we had our first online church gathering via the Zoom conferencing software.
“We had a great morning meeting together, and many of our church family found it really helpful and personal, despite being separated.
Given how effectively this worked, we’re continuing to meet together on Sundays at 10am until we’re able to enjoy gathering in person again.
“We’ve also put a number of our mid-week bible studies, short courses and other groups online so we can continue supporting one another and growing in knowledge and love of God more and more.”
If you’d like to join in, or get in touch with St John’s Lindow, details can be found on their website: www.saint-johns.org.uk
Elsewhere, St Bartholomew’s Church left brightly-coloured plants on Mother’s Day (22nd March) for locals to collect and take to their loved ones.
Many churches, including St James The Great Church in Gawsworth, are encouraging communities to light a candle on Sunday evenings (pictured, above) and place it in a window as a bright beacon of solidarity.
Churches are also continuing to act a a base for collecting products to support local foodbanks, and continue to adapt and support the communities they serve.
Is your church doing something we could include in this article? Please let us know.