17 Mar

Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus Update

It is with deep sadness that we initimate having to suspend almost all of our church-based activities for the foreseeable future. 

Our guidance from the Church of Scotland, the NHS and the Government is that we must stop gathering together for weekly worship on a Sunday and midweek. Our other activities must also be halted for a period.

The Kirk Session met on Sunday to discuss the matter and put in place an action plan for how to manage the various activities that we have planned in the coming weeks and months. Regretfully, the ink was barely dry on the action plan before new guidance indicated that more extreme measures of "social distancing" and "isolation" are required to suppress the spread of the Coronavirus.

For the time being, the following activities are suspended:
– Sunday morning worship in St Andrew's Church
– Wednesday morning worship in St Andrew's Church
– Tuesday Club
– Toddlers
– Bounce Higher activities
– Youth Cafe
– Boys' Brigade (All sections)
– Rainbows, Brownies and Guides
– Women's Fellowship
– Men's Group

Special arrangements will be made for funerals. Local undertakers together with the minister will advise families on a case-by-case basis.

Sunday worship
Despite the fact that we cannot all meet together in the sanctuary, it is the Kirk Session's ambition to maintain a time of worship each Sunday. We will do this via online streaming — as has been our habit for many years now. Please do 'tune in' at 10.30am each Sunday and share in a joint time of worship together. We do not know yet what kind of shape this will have... but join us at 10.30am to find out!
We recognise that not everyone has access to devices to watch (or re-watch) an online service. We are trying to find ways to allow those who are less digitally connected to view the services that we broadcast.

Pastoral care
Our care for each other remains undaunted despite the current situation. Current advice recommends that we refrain from visiting the homes of others — especially the elderly, and even more so if we are unwell. Our first point of contact for each other should be the telephone in the first instance. At a time when many of us will feel 'locked' in our homes, let us commit to picking up the phone from time to time to talk with each other.

Shared time online
We are looking at ways in which we can share together online using common video-conferencing technologies like FaceTime and Skye to keep our sense of shared fellowship.

The Church building
We plan to keep some sense of life about the building during the week; ensuring it remains wind- and water-tight; clean and secure. From time to time we are permitted to open the church for prayer, and we will endeavour to create a regular time for this to happen. Those entering the building should maintain the current practices of hand-washing; observing "social distance" and not coming if they are unwell.

As new developments unravel, and guidance changes we will keep this page up-to-date.

Neil MacLennan