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News  »  Monkhill Chapel News Saturday 11 July

   Monkhill Chapel News Saturday 11 July    11 July, 2020
Good evening all,
This week I would like to share with you, as requested, an important letter received from our CLT (Circuit Leadership Team) which is attached, (see below).
We are being asked as members of our Church Councils and managing trustees to think about how we go about the re-opening of our churches, and when, and in what format.
The simple solution would be to go back to what we had before but basically that will not be easy as outlined in the 4 very lengthy documents which were attached to this letter from CLT. (I have not enclosed these documents here but can forward them if anyone requires copies.)
Unless we are very determined to re-open quickly, it will not be possible and if we do, we would need every one of our able membership to be willing to be involved in carrying out all the procedures involved.
Perhaps it will be easier for larger Churches than ours--- but they will have more going on to oversee and regulate and although they may have a larger membership, they will also have more older people not able to undertake the necessary tasks---so effectively we are all "in the same boat".
The letter states the pertinent question about what we are opening to do. Has this period of lock down and slow recovery, give us as Church, an opportunity to think about the future and what we may be able to do differently for those who in the past have chosen not to enter our buildings? What can we, as Church, do for them? The answer may be different for different Churches. Some Churches (of any denomination) may not be able to re-open for financial or other reasons. I understand however that Methodist Churches in this area are better placed in this regard than a lot of others at present, so does this not endorse our Mission Community vision to work together with fellow Christians.
So, we have a lot to think about! Kathleen and I have had a brief discussion and thought we should all try to get-together sometime to discuss these things, perhaps outside in someone's garden, socially distanced of course, should the weather and Covid-19 regulations allow. I'll be in touch about this when possible.
On a lighter note, our North Cumbria Circuit Facebook page, has photos from David Newlove of his cousin's son's church in the Philippines. It is their Sunday School and the children there are receiving their Operation Christmas Child Shoe Boxes - well worth a look.
Thank you and good-night. Sorry this has been sent out so late again.
Keep well and safe and looking forward to seeing you all sooner rather than later!
From the North Cumbroia Circuit, The Methodist Church.
Dear Friends,
As we look to the next stages of “lockdown” and what it means for the church, please know that you are in our prayers in these difficult circumstances. We have been encouraged by the participation in online worship from across the circuit and have been delighted to receive phone calls in gratitude for the telephone worship services for those not online.
You will be aware that the Government allowed churches to open for worship from the 4th of July, but the Methodist Church wanted to wait until conference. The guidance from the Methodist Church was updated on 1st July and this is enclosed. there are a number of steps that we must take to allow this to happen. The decision to open our churches is for the church council to make as managing trustees and such decisions must follow the procedures set out by the church connexionally. This is to avoid the local trustees (the church council) being open to a claim for a breach of trust because of the way that the decision was made. When thinking about opening many will ask what we are opening to do.
The Worship Survey which was conducted by the Circuit Leadership Team showed us that two-thirds of people miss the social aspects of church worship the most and this will be important. Sadly, it is the case that things such as singing hymns and sharing refreshments after the service will not be able to happen at the moment.
When we are able to open there are four items of paperwork required:
Risk Assessment of the Church Building
Action Plan to specify how risks will be managed 
Checklist which lists the items that need to be checked before the building can open
Track and Trace Contacts List so that other people can be contacted if a congregation member is discovered to have coronavirus.
Given all the information above, the staff team feel that opening buildings is unlikely to happen before September. However, this is open to review and we would be happy to discuss arrangements with chapels that feel very strongly that they wish to open for worship. In the meantime, worship will continue on Zoom, Facebook Live and by telephone. We plan to continue these options once worship resumes in churches.
With love and prayers,
The Circuit Leadership Team
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