Gatehouse Update – 18th January 2021
At the beginning of this year, we went into another lockdown to help prevent/slow down the spread of the Covid virus. This lockdown is different in some respects to previous lockdowns and the government has allowed churches to continue worship services in their buildings as long as they are conducted in a Covid-safe manner. Our General Superintendent in a communication with Elim ministers said “This is testament to the hard work on compliance of so many in church leadership across the UK and to the high level of engagement and discussion which church representatives have had with the UK Government.”
Having said that the government is allowing us to meet, we have still had to decide whether it is better for us to remain open for our Sunday morning services or whether to go completely online. The leadership at the Gatehouse, after consideration of communications from the Lancashire Resilience Forum, our local Member of Parliament and reviewing the current infection rates in Blackpool have decided to maintain our Sunday morning services at church as well as livestreaming them.
In line with the communication from the Lancashire Resilience Forum, we have also had a review of our risk assessments at church. We would like to remind you that if you decide to come along to the Sunday service at church, please take every precaution by using the hand sanitiser provided, using a face covering and also maintaining social distancing at all times. At the end of the service, we will ask you to leave quickly, to reduce the time spent indoors together. If you have any symptoms of covid, please stay at home, get tested and follow the required self-isolation period before coming back to church. If that is the case, please let us know so that we can pray for you and offer practical support.
We haven’t come to this decision lightly but on balance we feel that keeping our services open is the most beneficial way for us at the moment. However, we are also committed to providing the best livestream service we can so that we can be church together, whether in person or online. Also, we would like to encourage you to link up with a couple of other Christians to pray together regularly (following government guidelines) and also engage with the online mid-week meetings that are happening. Please contact us if you have any prayer requests or practical needs.
This decision will be reviewed as we move forward and of course, is subject to change as the situation changes.