Wednesday, 18 March 2020
“Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7
Dear Newquay Baptist Church,
We certainly live in changing times; who would have thought that just last week when we drafted up our plans to begin dealing with COVID-19 (coronavirus) that within a few days those plans would not be enough.
Over the past several days I have been carefully watching the news, listening to Government advice, and taking counsel from numerous Pastors / Elders throughout the UK on what is the best next step for churches in the light of the current crisis. Let me assure you that the virus has never been far from my mind, with many sleepless nights taking place. The health and safety of this congregation weighs heavily upon me, and I know that as a Pastor I have a duty of care both spiritually and physically to those whom the Lord has entrusted to me. All the decisions we have made and will make, flow from a heart of love for you and a desire to see God glorified; even though I have only been at Newquay for under four months, I am asking that you trust me completely to lead and guide the church through this difficult time. I will no doubt make decisions that you may disagree with, but I want to assure you that I am making these decisions after much prayer and counsel, and I do so because I care greatly for you.
COVID-19 has radically changed life as we know it, and no doubt there will be many months of uncertainty ahead of us. Not only does our nation have to deal with the virus, but it also will need to deal with the economic ramifications of this pandemic. As Christians, we need to be praying for our Prime Minister and also the Government, even if we don’t always agree with their decisions, the role they are in is tough, so we should constantly bring them before the Lord in prayer.
We also need to take practical steps to ensure our own personal well-being and the safety of others. I would urge all those who are at risk, or who are over 70 to immediately take action to begin to self-isolate. I know this may be a lonely time, but as a Church we are working on ideas to help. Please be assured of our constant prayers, and also know that you will not be forgotten. Pastoral care plans are being drawn up, and as those plans activate, we will be seeking to help you in any way we can. In the meantime, if you need anything, please contact me via phone or email.
For the immediate future you will also notice some changes in the way we will be doing church. As much as it pains us to say this, we request that all those who are at risk, or who are over 70 to stay away from the meetings of the church. Please don’t hear me as saying you are not wanted here, you are, but we want you to be safe. We love you and care for you, so for your sake we ask that you stay home for the time being; none of us want to risk making you sick.
Effectively immediately, all non-essential meetings of the church will be suspended. This includes our Tuesday night Bible Study and Prayer Meeting; Lunch for Locals; Penhaven Court; Revival & Evangelism Prayer Meeting; Church Fellowships and Members Meetings.
We will also be suspending our Sunday night service.
At this stage, we will continue to have a service on Sunday morning at 11am. We do ask that all those who attend to practice social distancing and also follow the relevant health and safety advice (washing hands, not coming if you have colds etc). Our Lord’s Day service in the morning will continue until further notice and it is something we will seek to maintain for as long as possible. We believe it is biblically commanded that we meet together on the Christian Sabbath, so by God’s grace we will continue to this but we also want to be wise in our actions.
Let me stress to you my love and concern for you. I long to see our whole congregation, young and old, come together once again to worship the Triune God. Lord willing, this will happen again in the near future; but if it doesn’t, know that we love you and we want what best for you. Even though you may not be able to attend chapel, know that the Lord is near all His people. During this time, I would encourage you to continue to read your Bible and pray. Keep pursuing Jesus, and please pray for me as I seek to do what is right.
There are also many sermons online that I can recommend if you would like to listen to regular Bible teaching. If you would like the recommendations, then please contact me. Also, if you do not have access to the internet, please let me know and I’ll arrange for sermon CDs to be delivered to you.
To recap our current course of action:
1. All those who are at risk, or over 70 are requested to immediately self-isolate and remain home from all church meetings.
2. All non-essential church meetings are suspended until further notice.
3. Sunday evening service is suspended.
4. Sunday morning service will continue as usual.
If you have social media, I would encourage you to keep watch on our Facebook page for the latest updates in real time: http://www.facebook.com/NewquayBaptistChurch
If you have any questions, or just need someone to talk to, or pray for you, then please contact me: Email: email@example.com
Tel. 07580 485 257
Keep looking to Jesus; hold fast to Him! None of this has caught our God off-guard, so know that our Sovereign King is in control.
Your Servant in Christ
Newquay Baptist Church
13th March 2020
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 1:3
Brothers and Sisters, as you are no doubt aware there is much concern in our nation, and indeed in the world, over the strain of coronavirus, COVID-19. As Pastor of Newquay Baptist Church, I take seriously my role to love and care for the wellbeing of the congregation, both spiritually and physically, which means I must consider the threat of this virus.
In recent days I have spent much time taking advice on how we as a church should best proceed in the light of the current pandemic sweeping the world. We are constantly listening to what the Government and NHS is advising, and also observing how other churches are dealing with the situation. In the light of all the information we have, Newquay Baptist Church will be making the following temporary steps to help ensure your safety.
1. From Sunday, 15th March 2020, we will suspend the use of hymnals and pew Bibles in the chapel. Studies have shown that the virus can spread via paper so we have decided for the time being that the best course of action would be to project the hymn lyrics and Scripture reading onto the wall. We do encourage everyone to continue to bring their own Bible to Church, and if you have your own hymnal you can bring that also, but we ask that you do not share your Bible or hymnal with someone else.
2. Following NHS recommendations we would encourage everyone to regularly wash their hands with soap for twenty seconds. While there is a shortage of hand-soap at the moment, we have managed to find some bottles. All toilets will have ample handwash. We would also ask that you please use the paper towels to dry your hands and immediately dispose of them in the bin.
3. Seating: If possible, we would encourage you not to sit close to each other, perhaps spread out around the chapel. The Government recommendations is that we try to have a one metre gap between people. We acknowledge that this isn’t always possible, but if space permits, we would encourage gaps between people.
4. Handshakes / Hugs / Body Contact: Please refrain from making any body contact with others; we understand that it is very natural to want to make people feel welcome at church, but in these difficult times we would suggest that a warm smile and verbal welcome is just as friendly.
5. Cold / Flu: If you have cold and flu symptoms, then we would ask that you: a) Let us know so we can pray for you; b) Not attend any of the meetings. We would dearly love to have you with us, but we would ask that you please refrain from attending church if you are unwell. We want to ensure both your well-being and also those of your fellow church attendees. If you have access to the internet we can recommend online sermons for you to listen to while you are at home as we don’t want you to miss out on the teaching of God’s Word.
6. Visitations: For the time being all pastoral visitations will be limited; if you desire a visit, then please feel free to contact me, and we’ll see if a visitation can be arranged. Due to the nature of my work I am often in contact with many different people, so I want to ensure the health and safety of all.
Let me stress to you that I love you in Christ, and I want what is best for you, that is why the above decisions have been made. We do have other plans that we are working on if the pandemic worsens.
I understand that many may be afraid during this time, so let me conclude by reminding you of the sovereignty of God. Our Lord was not caught off guard by all of this; He is in control, and He will work all things out after the perfect counsel of His will. I would encourage you to mediate regularly upon the power of our God during this time, and to also think constantly of Christ’s love shown at the cross.
We don’t know what the future holds, but we do know the One who controls the future.
Yours in Christian Love
Pastor – Newquay Baptist Church
As a church we give thanks to God for the provision of a Pastor. Believing it to be the will of God, Josh Williamson has accepted the unanimous call of the church.
Josh is aged 33 and from Australia. He is married to Louise and they have 3 young children.
As a church we give thanks to God for our Pastor and his family and for their safe arrival. Louise home schools the children and they are all settling into life in Cornwall.
We look to the Lord to bless His work in Newquay. Please join with us if you can, we value your prayers and support.
Welcome to our church. It would be great to see you – whether you’re local or a holidaymaker. Everyone is welcome! Our church building can be hard to find so please see these directions and parking suggestions. Also check times of our meetings and read about what we believe.
You can also ask us a question about Christianity.
Lunch for Locals is a free monthly event for retired people in Newquay. There’s tasty food, good company and a short Bible talk. Check the Diary for dates and times.
It’s free of charge. You don’t need to book. Just come along on the day and we’ll be delighted to see you. Bring a friend too! If you’re not a retired person, but you’d like to come along, please contact us.