Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
In the light of the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases and a 3rd national lockdown, we are once again being encouraged as a nation to ‘stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives’. Whilst under the latest lockdown rules we may gather in church for corporate worship, having prayerfully weighed the arguments, the PCC, Church Wardens and Clergy believe it is right that as a church we should follow the lead given by our Bishops and set a good example in this by suspending our ‘in person’ corporate worship for the time being. This is a decision made with a ‘heavy heart’ and we will keep it under review over the coming weeks. I know it will be a difficult decision for some, but I think on balance it is the right thing to do in the circumstances and believe it is important that we stand together in this.
Over the coming weeks can I encourage you to engage with our online services at 10:30 on Sunday mornings if you are able to via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TheRiversTeam/ or our YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcs1YpJKXVs4c7ySjI8eH0Q or to use the At Home worship sheets that Linda emails out. If you are able, please also join us for our Zoom Fellowship meeting following the online service (starting around 11:30am): Meeting ID: 970 4058 6857 / Password: 048851, and use our social media platforms and all other means of sharing and encouraging one another. In particular please try be aware of those who may be feeling vulnerable, isolated or frightened at this time and look for opportunities to share the love of God and the hope of the gospel with them in whatever ways you can do so safely.
There is an old saying that the darkest time is just before the dawn, and it feels a bit like we are in that place at the minute, but as Christians we know that light has dawned in Jesus, the light that shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot put it out, so let’s remain steadfast in following him because Jesus promises: “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
May the Lord bless you and keep you and those you love safe, and the peace of the Lord, which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds safe in the knowledge and love of God.
With blessings and prayers