Updated 24th March - 4pm
We can't be together in person this Sunday, but that doesn't stop us worshipping, praying, learning and growing. Church is not a building but is each one of us - the "living stones" from 1 Peter 2. So this Sunday we will be gathering together, not in Clifton, but in homes all across Bristol - a spiritual house not in one place but stretching out across the city. We haven't tried this before, but we are excited to be live streaming our gathering on our Facebook page at 11am this Sunday. Please watch Paul's message on our Latest News page then join us by clicking on the button below, and contribute through likes and comments. We'd love to hear your feedback afterwards as to how it was and how we can make it better!
The Archbishops have just updated their guidance on the use of church buildings - read it here.
Updated 20th March - 5pm
We've also created a Facebook Members Forum for members of the church family to keep in touch with each other during this time. Church members will have received details of how to join in this week's Friday News.
Finally, we have added specific details to our Seniors, Prayer and Small Communities pages.
Updated 18th March - 9am
Sophie and Elliot have provided the following information regaring our youth provision...
I imagine you will have already seen the message to the Church Family concerning the action we are taking to follow Government and Church of England guidelines about coronavirus. For us, as a Youth community that meets within the Church, this means several things:
We are very sad that we will not be able to meet with you all in the same way for some time, however, it is extremely important for us to focus on keeping a strong sense of connection with each other and God. Right now we are working on how this will look for us as a community, most likely it will involve the use of social media and youtube. We will keep you updated and we will be in touch very soon with the plan going forward to keep our community connected.
As of today will not be meeting together as either Pathfinder's on a Sunday or Meeting Point on a Friday, or any other activities in the week until further notice.
All face to face mentoring meetup's will no longer be able to happen in the same way. However, we are in discussion as to if and how we can still support young people 1:1 through technology.
Our Youth Weekend away at the end of March will no longer be going ahead. We are unsure if Viney Hill will be able to refund us yet. However, the church will provide a full refund for anyone who would like one. We will endeavour to rebook a weekend away as soon as we are able to in the future
The summer trip that we had begun planning will be put on hold until further notice.
In the meantime, if any of you have any bright ideas about how we can all stay connected and encourage each other then we would love to hear from you.
Also, if you have any prayer requests for yourself or your family at this time then please do send them through and we will make sure we will be praying for you.
Remember, God is for us, we love you, we're praying for you, love one another well in this time and we will get through this.
Updated 17th March - 8:30pm
The Church of England have updated their Coronavirus advice page, with a growing number of FAQ's covering such things as weddings, funerals, APCM's and so on. Details here.
Updated 17th March 2020 - 6pm
Message to the whole church family...
Earlier today, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York issued advice that public worship is to be suspended until further notice. This comes in the light of the Prime Minister's statement last night. I imagine this hasn't come as a surprise to you, and we want to let you know how we plan to support you and the wider Christ Church community during this time. Please would you take a moment to watch a brief video from Paul, which will tell you more, and then read on for more detail.
So sadly, all our public worship gatherings and events will now need to stop for the foreseeable future (with the exception of Preschool which will continue while state schools are still running).
But importantly, our life together as a church family isn't going to stop and we will now begin to focus our Staff time and resources on what it means to be a Christian community while we cannot gather together for public worship.
Over the coming days we will develop this in more detail, but we will be initially focusing on supporting our Small Communities and their leaders – providing tools and resources so they can continue to support one another while not being able to meet in person. We anticipate putting together a weekly programme of teaching and discipleship, via video and other resources, that individuals and online groups can use during this time, and providing ways through which we can keep in touch as a wider family and, crucially, pray together. We will be sharing more details with you in our Friday email this week.
In addition, we will also be looking at how we practically care for the most vulnerable members of our family and the wider community – Rhean and Janet have already started on this. With this in mind, we would like to keep in touch with you if you find yourself in the position of having to self-isolate. Please just let us know by emailing us here. You can also use this email to let us know of anyone else in the church family who may be self-isolating.
We know that there will be many questions about what this means for our RENEW project and the RENEW team will have more to say about this in the coming days. In the meantime, sadly, it does mean that the RENEW meetings scheduled for the end of March will now need to be postponed.
This is a challenging time for all of us. As a Staff Team, we have been preparing for this, although it has come sooner than we anticipated. Our prayer is that during this time, God will continue to grow us as individuals and as a church community – perhaps in ways which would not have been possible if we had just carried on as normal. If you haven't already done so, let me encourage you to listen to Chris Whitwell's talk from Sunday as it very much conveys our heart and desire for our church family as we enter the next few weeks and months.
We appreciate that you may have many questions as you digest this news. We may not be able to answer every question direct or immediately but we will be updating this page as regularly as possible. You can access this via www.ccweb.org.uk/coronavirus or via the link on our homepage. And we are committed to sharing with you regularly via email and social media so please keep a look out for these channels. We are also aware that not everyone has access to these ways of communicating and don't want to leave anyone out. This may take a day or two to organise, so please would you assist by ensuring that church friends, especially those without email, are aware of this news.
And finally, please do pray. Our national church leaders are calling for this coming Sunday, 22nd March to be a day for prayer and action and on Friday, we will tell you more about how we, at Christ Church, plan to participate.
With love and prayers,
Mark Parsons | Operations Manager
On behalf of the Staff Team and Standing Committee of the PCC