In July 2020, with the easing of lockdown restrictions, our Stewards considered the possibility of opening our Church for Sunday Worship. At that time, it was not considered a safe thing to do, and would be reviewed in the autumn.
After sending out letters and emails to all members and friends of Castle during October 2020, the Church Council met on Zoom yesterday (28.10.2020) to again discuss the possibility of reopening for Worship.
Th Church Council considered all the responses which had been received. Comments were all anonymous, but grouped into answers to the four questions which had been asked.
There was an overwhelming response that face to face worship and meeting in person was an extremely valuable thing to do, and clearly helped to maintain the Castle family. There was a definite feeling that Singing was very much part of Methodist Worship, and without it (under current Covid regulations), Worship would feel very different.
Several people were enjoying the CD and DVD recordings of the online material as they were not able to access the internet.
Many people were accessing the YouTube Channel https://youtube.com/ColchesterMethodists, and some were accessing the Facebook Live services from Wimpole Road. Although many thought this was a good alternative, was well presented and received, it was notable that it was considered “not the same”.
However, there was an equal split as to whether it was right to be worshipping together in person once again right now.
Up to date figures from the local newspaper, and NHS data, was now showing a marked increase in the number of Coronavirus cases, and of hospital admissions locally, in recent days. In light of this worrying trend it was decided to postpone a decision to reopen the church for worship until January 2021.
The Church will therefore remain closed for Worship together in person until at least January 2021.
In order to maintain our fellowship together as much as is possible under the current Tier 2 Regulations, there will be an increase in the number of Services and other activities being available online, together with a new regular newsletter, and more details will follow.
If you would like to find out more about Zoom Bible studies, Zoom House Group Meetings or Zoom Worship, or have any ideas for ways in which we can keep in contact over the coming weeks, please do contact Rev Alan Jenkins by email, letter or telephone.
If you have had trouble accessing Zoom please do follow this link to some helpful instructions prepared by our friends at The Ark, Highwoods.