Measures to ensure the health of us all and the continued witness of the church.
The Government has announced measures aimed at reducing the spread of coronavirus. How can we respond as the church, how can we help people stay healthy, and how can we be a witness for Jesus at this time? (Evangelical Alliance Website).
From Sunday, 22 March, many churches across the UK have moved their services online, and church activities such as Alpha and small groups are following suit. Following the latest government measures this is now be required.
For the health of our congregations, our communities and our country, churches must not meet physically. This affects not only Sunday services but all gatherings, regardless of their size. This is not only following good advice to limit the spread of coronavirus, but is now against the law.
There are a number of ways churches can operate online and care will be required to ensure they do not compromise the spirit and letter of the Government’s measures. The safest option is for contributors to either record content or broadcast live from their own houses. If filming or streaming content from your church can be done simply, this would also be an acceptable approach. Government guidance says:
“A minister of religion or worship leader may leave their home to travel to their place of worship. A place of worship may broadcast an act of worship, whether over the internet or otherwise.”
The government have clarified to the Evangelical Alliance that ‘a minister of religion’ can include lay leaders, and volunteer camera operators and technicians can be included assuming they maintain appropriate social distance. The number of people involved should be kept to an absolute minimum and if travel and bringing people together can be avoided this is preferable.