The spread of the Covid19 virus has meant that all regular meetings in the church building are suspended until further notice.
Sunday Services and Daily Prayer can be found on our Holy Trinity West Bromwich YouTube channel.
News can be found on our Holy Trinity West Bromwich Facebook Page.
Changes from Saturday 4th July
You may already be aware that the government of the United Kingdom has given permission for places of worship to open for worship from Saturday 4th July.
The Bishop of Lichfield wrote to me on Friday to say that he welcomes the permission to reopen for worship and small weddings, but he does not expect all or any churches to open by next Sunday.
On Monday, the UK Government then issued guidelines for the re-opening of places of worship and the Church of England issued its version today (Wednesday 1st July)
There are legal requirements to meet and practical arrangements to be met before we can open our buildings.
As we work to understand and apply the guidance, there are a number of important things for us all to bear in mind.
Be aware of differences in our attitudes to meeting people
There will be some who are very keen to see others and be back in our buildings, there will be others who have not been out of the house for three months and are anxious about meeting others.
We’ve been studying Philippians in our small groups and need to remember “in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” This requires love, grace, an awareness of others needs, and a determination to put those needs of others before our own.
Please be aware of the needs of others and do what is best for them.
Be aware of differences in our attitudes to forms of worship
The Bishop stated that services will feel different. There is unlikely to be any singing praise to God and communion will be very different. For some people, this will mean a welcome change and to others a sense of loss.
We must think of the needs of others when things are different.
In Philippians we are called to, “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure.”
Let’s take the opportunity to show grace to each other, listening and caring, without grumbling or arguing.
And it’s important to remember what happened after Jesus rose from the dead.
His disciples asked him “Will you at this time restore the Kingdom to Israel?” Jesus replied “You will be my witnesses from Jerusalem to Judea to Samaria to the ends of the earth.”
Just like the disciples, we might want to restore church life as it was, and find comfort in the traditions of the past, but Jesus gives us comfort in our relationship with him and calls us to be his witnesses. Part of how we will be his witnesses will be in how we love one another.
This situation is an opportunity for us to show humility, think of the needs of others, pull together towards Christ as one people without grumbling or arguing.
I together with our elected wardens, Joanne and Sonia, have the responsibility of ensuring the buildings are safe and comfortable for whatever we do in the buildings. We will need to be satisfied that all relevant measures have been met before we open the buildings.
So, we continue to need your prayers and support as we negotiate all these changing requirements, consult on proposals and communicate any decisions.
Please be ready to play your part to be asked to serve, if you are able.
We have been in exile for 98 days.
Our return from exile will take hard work, harmony and hope, as the people of God had in the days of Nehemiah when they returned to Jerusalem after 70 years in exile.
Whether you are eager to press on or anxious about the future; whether you long for the way things were in the past or are pleased to have a chance to change:
“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.”
We have the opportunity to shine like stars as we hold firmly to the word of life.
Bible teaching and prayer
For worship and teaching we will stream a Sunday service from our church YouTube channel, you can join anytime from 10:30am.
Daily Prayer will also be on the YouTube channel from 7:30am, Monday to Thursday.
UPDATE (1/07/2020) The buildings remain closed for private prayer but we are making plans to re-open for public worship on Sundays.
We will be able to pray together and hold small group meetings using a video meeting service called Zoom.
Bible study is on Zoom on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7:30pm. Please text Neil on 07810544265 for an invitation.
Kids Klub and Trinity Tots are also running online.
Pastoral Counselling and Prayer
If you need pastoral counselling and prayer, please call or text Neil, our vicar, 07810 544265. A member of staff will be in touch to make arrangements with you for a phone call or Zoom meeting.
Weddings and Funerals
UPDATE (1/07/2020) The UK Government has given permission for funerals to take place in churches from 15th June. There is a limit of 30 people in attendance. We are putting the necessary regulations in place to allow funerals to take place.
If you have been bereaved, please contact Neil on 07810 544265 or ask your funeral director to contact him.
Small weddings with up to 30 people in attendance are now permitted from Saturday 4th July.
Baptisms are not currently permitted because of the use of water.
You or your neighbours may have practical needs like shopping, collecting medication or even just having someone to speak to on the phone. We would like to link people together through church so that everyone is cared for and are working on a way we can do that.
There may be things God calls us to do which we can’t yet see. If you have a need, please make contact. We can’t promise to be able to do everything, but we can pray and do what we can together as a church as we follow the commands of Jesus to love each other as he loved us.