Tuesday 24th March
Today, Bishop David released some additional communication on the basis of the newly updated government guidelines.
Firstly, clergy will be immediately contacting any couples who are planning to be married in church within the next three weeks requiring them to postpone their wedding. I understand how difficult this will be for those who will have been planning their wedding day for months and perhaps even years.
I have also asked clergy to contact couples planning a wedding over the coming months as the Prime Minister has indicated that this ban could be extended beyond the three–week period and couples need to be made aware of this possibility.
Secondly, although we have been carefully managing to have churches open for prayer with no more than three people present in the building, this will now have to cease with immediate effect. I’d like to thank all those who have so carefully managed this over the past ten–day period. – If you have signed up to pray this week as part of 100 Days of Prayer, then we’d love you to continue to do that, but from home.
Thirdly, last night’s announcements now require that when recording church services using any methods of social media and recording equipment, the number of persons involved at any one time must be limited to two.
Fourthly, I’m very conscious that the government’s new regulations have implications for how food stores/food banks in our Diocese operate. With immediate effect I request that food stores are manned by no more than two people and that a system is put in place so that food parcels may be collected in a manner that ensures that no more than two people are involved in the process. This may mean creative communication using mobile phones. I would appeal to people to continue more than ever to find a way to provide food for food stores, whilst food stores in turn find ways to facilitate this within the constraints of the new regulations.If you would like to read the entire communication in full you can do so by clicking the link below:
Bishop David’s COVID–19 Update
Friday 20th March
Please find below links to the latest information from Bishop David and guidance from the Diocese:
Bishop David’s Statement – COVID19
Bishop David’s letter on prayer
Church and COVID–19 FAQs
Also, find a link to a great resource on the Down and Dromore website for primary school children. The Down and Dromore youth team have made available a download of their popular Family Time book. It’s full of devotional ideas to help parents encourage their primary school–aged children in the Christian faith. The ‘Play, Say and Pray’ format takes a Bible verse and teaches it with a simple illustration, a game, a short explanation and a prayer. It’s accessible and it’s fun!
Digital Support for Youth Children and Families
Thursday 19th March
You may already have read Bishop David’s statement and the new guidelines that the Church of Ireland issued on Tuesday – but if you have not, please review the two links below
As you will note, these new guidelines mean we will not be gathering together as a church until further notice. This impacts, and applies to all groups, gatherings, events, programs and ministries.
Although we are not gathering in our usual way, we still want to be creative in this season and explore new ways of serving, loving and reaching out in hope and faith.
As a staff team we are committed to new ways of connecting with our church and community. We especially want to serve the vulnerable, isolated, and elderly. We will continue to reach out with weekly emails; delivering printed copies to those who don’t have access. Kids and Youth team are working hard to create content and resources that will help kids, youth and families. The leaders of all ministries will be supporting and engaging with those under their care. Admittedly this comes with certain challenges, but we are leaning on God and asking for Holy Spirit strategies for such a time as this.
We will be recording two Sunday Services, that will be uploaded on our social media platforms and website each week at 11.30am + 5.30pm.
These will include intercessions, worship and preaching.
They can be watched here
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
As the world spins into fear and panic; as people run around seeking to stockpile; as leaders rush to get to grips with what is happening and how best to react and respond…I love that the picture we have of God is one of total calm. God sits! Seated in power. Surrounded with glory. Exalted above all things. He does not fret, or worry, or panic. God never needs to rush from one meeting to another asking advice or counsel or guidance. God is in eternal control. – Mark Brown
Tuesday 17th March
You will be aware that as we have navigated some of the challenges that COVID–19 has brought, we have taken full direction from Government and Church of Ireland guidelines and with that brings today’s announcement that all services and gatherings will be postponed until further notice.
In a statement Bishop David said: “In these days our world needs a church that is awake, that is servant–hearted, that is diligent in prayer and that continues to find ways to make Christ known.”
Willowfield Church will continue ONLINE during this postponement with more details of what that looks like to be shared in the coming days!
We will also continue reaching out to serve those in need within our community in the best we possibly can!
Read Bishop David’s full statement below:
Bishop David’s Statemenet – COVID–19
Church of Ireland – COVID–19 Update