Update 20/03/2020 at 8.00pm
Please see our Pudsey Community Project for the local response we’re spearheading. When the drop off sessions are open (Monday to Saturday 10am-12 and Tuesday and Thursday evenings 6-8pm) the church will be available for brief individual private prayer, as long as we’re not locked down. Please thoroughly wash your hands as you enter and leave.
Please note that the current restrictions on funerals and weddings are as follows, but likely to be tightened over the days and weeks to come:
Weddings – these can currently go ahead but only with five people present: the Vicar, the couple and two witnesses. See the weddings page for more details.
Funerals – these can currently go ahead but only with the bare minimum of close family present.
For none of these can anyone with symptoms attend and those vulnerable and over 70 are strongly discouraged from attending.
Update: 17/03/2020 at 3.00pm
The Church of England has suspended all public worship until further notice. There will be no services on Sundays or Wednesdays.
Pudsey Parish Church will be open at times to be advertised for individual quiet prayer, but over the weeks to come the building will be the base of Pudsey Community Project where we will be working to provide for the isolated and vulnerable in the area.
We will keep you updated on our Facebook page and website.
Please pray for and support one another by phone and other non-contact means. We are setting up systems of care for our congregation. You all remain in my prayers daily.
Grace and Peace,
Richard Dimery, Vicar
Update: 16/03/2020 at 11.00pm
After our PCC meeting tonight as a church we need to update you with our current responses to the Covid-19 Coronavirus based on the advice of Public Health England and the Church of England in response to the latest news and information from government. This advice will be updated based on new information – please refresh this page for the latest information.
The government have said today that drastic action is needed across the country to reduce the impact of the crisis but that now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact with others, and to stop unnecessary travel. Only proper social distancing can allow the NHS to not be entirely overwhelmed and so we are changing our practice to help combat this serious and devastating situation.
Here are the bullet points at the moment, and we expect these restrictions to be in place for weeks or possibly months to come – with additions in bold:
- We are continuing to hold our church services for the time being, but this is more likely to be affected by recent advice and we are currently awaiting advice from the Church of England. If we cannot meet we will livestream over Facebook and provide other resources as possible.
- The PCC require all Life Groups to stop meeting immediately, and instead encourage phone or electronic contact and support – resources/ideas will be provided soon.
- We are suspending ABC toddler groups.
- We are suspending our Friday night youth clubs.
- We require anyone entering or exiting the church building to thoroughly wash hands or use alcohol hand sanitiser.
- We are suspending our early morning Thursday prayer meeting.
- We are suspending all Mothers Union meetings.
- We are suspending all small groups, informal meetings, committees and small events that are non-essential.
- We are suspending all group Bible studies and Lent courses.
- We are suspending home communion visits.
- We are suspending visits to nursing homes.
- We are not allowing any refreshments in church.
- We are suspending all coffee mornings.
- We must not visit anyone who is self-isolating until their isolation ends, but instead offer phone support.
- We are cancelling the post-Easter holiday club and the Passover style meal that would be our Maundy Thursday service.
- We remind everyone to self-isolate if showing symptoms as per the guidelines given by the Prime Minister.
We are working on plans to support church members (a) who might need to self-isolate and (b) if we have to stop regular church services, and members of the wider community too – especially those who are unable to shop for food etc. As a church we must focus on community expressions of God’s love and be a heart of compassion for our town as anxiety begins to grow. And so we are tomorrow launching Pudsey Community Project to link local volunteers with people with needs – further details will be given very soon, and if you are on Facebook search for and ‘like’ “Pudsey Community Project” to keep in the loop.
Please be assured of my daily prayers for all of you.
If you can, please join me in taking a minute each day at 12noon to remember and pray for everyone affected by the virus – the anxious, the vulnerable, the infected, the medical and other carers, the researchers, the decision-makers of society, and for all our neighbours, that they might know God’s love and peace.
If you have queries, please contact me or the church office, Sarah Harrison or the wardens.
With Grace and Peace,
Richard Dimery, Vicar