“Green Lane” is a Baptist Church in Walsall, West Midlands, England. We are told we are a friendly and open church, embracing change and reaching out to the community with the good news of Jesus Christ.
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Statement on the ongoing closure of the building at Green Lane Baptist Church – October 2020
Sarah and the deacons are regularly reviewing whether to reopen the building for worship on Sunday mornings. There are a number of factors that they try to weigh up. These include; local R number and rates of infection, plus whether rates of infection are growing or shrinking, the vulnerability to infection of the congregation, the mental wellbeing of the congregation, the ability to offer alternative provision, the measures identified in the service risk assessment and the ability of Sarah and volunteers to adequately enact them.
At the moment, the physical vulnerability of many of the congregation is high. Local rates of infection are rising again and the R rate is over 1, meaning without measures, the risk of a new peak of infections is high. With appropriate volunteer support, mitigating measures could be in place for in person Sunday worship, however, as with other work places, alternative provision for services is currently deemed to be safer and potentially more satisfying than meeting in person with all the necessary restrictions.
Currently, using online services or CDs/DVDs allows singing and communion, the former of which is forbidden and the latter of which has practical difficulties (though not insurmountable) for in person services.
We are aware this gives a less satisfactory experience to families. However, as our Junior Church team includes volunteers who are clinically vulnerable OR work in higher risk key worker roles, the children and young people would not be meeting in their groups were they attending in person services.
The group for whom we are exploring additional support is those people whose mental health is now starting to suffer due to the prolonged period of not meeting together, and for whom the very restricted in person services (with no socialising, social distancing, mask wearing and no tea or coffee) would also offer little or no relief. We are hoping to set up a buddy system so face to face conversations (either on the doorstep or at a coffee shop where masks need not be worn once seated) can happen fortnightly.
This is still an ongoing, uncertain situation. Please bear with us as we try our best to be loving family for one another.
For very similar reasons, there will also currently be no re-starting of Mend-It activities, although again, the Mend-It committee are regularly reviewing all the data and Risk reduction methods.
GLBC 2020 verse card:
“Leave all your worries with him(God), because he cares for you.” 1Peter 5:7