Coronavirus (covid-19): news for our churches

The coronavirus outbreak is having a major effect on all aspects of national life, and it is likely that this will affect what we are able to do as a group of churches. This page will therefore give regular updates regarding any changes brought about by the virus.

Added Tuesday 24th March: The latest Government guidance requires all churches and places of worship to be closed completely - even for quiet reflection and prayer. Please be assured that we will open our churches again as soon as we are permitted to do so.

As things stand, weddings and baptisms are also banned. In practical terms this should not affect us as there are none booked for the next three weeks, but that will change if the ban is extended into the summer then some will be affected. Funerals may continue but with close family only in attandance.

Added Wednesday 18th March: As we struggle with the craziness of shopping for supplies, it's really important we remember those people, in our own country, who struggle even in normal times. We're still collecting for the Food Bank (see here for how to donate). Earlier this week Anita took 68kg of food to the Food Bank. There's a particular need for tinned meat and fish and steamed puddings.

Update Tuesday 17th March

From the Church of England website:

In light of the Government guidance around non-essential contact, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have issued advice that public worship is suspended until further notice. 

Churches should be open where possible but with no public worship services taking place. Prayers can be said by clergy and ministers on behalf of everyone and churches should consider ways of sharing this with the wider community.

For further details, see here.

This means that there will be no public services held this Sunday in the Polden Wheel or on the following Sundays until further notice.

I will be putting some prayers and scriptural reflections together in the days ahead. Meanwhile, please do use the material available on the Church of England website for Liturgy and prayer resources in response to this here.

For doing Worship at Home, including Morning Worship and Night Prayer, download from here.

Update Monday 16th March:

In view of the latest statement from the Government, we have regrettably had to make a number of cancellations. The following events taking place this week have therefore all been cancelled:

  • The men's breakfast that was going to take place on Saturday.
  • The Lent course, which is taking place on Tuesdays in March.
  • Messy Church, due to take place on Saturday.

The Church of England nationally is "examining the latest advice from the Government and Public Health England and will update [their guidance] as soon as possible."

For current guidance from the diocese of Bath & Wells, go here.

For current guidance from the Church of England, go here.