Last updated Wednesday 18th March.
Since Monday 16th March the UK Government have escalated their strategy for delaying the spread of the virus. These are the key points made:
- Anyone with a fever or persistent cough should stay at home for seven days if they live alone or 14 days if they live with others.
- Anyone who lives with someone displaying coronavirus symptoms should also stay at home for 14 days.
- People who have to isolate themselves should ask others for help
- Everyone should stop non-essential contact with others. This is particularly important for people over 70, those with underlying health conditions and pregnant women.
- People should work from home where they can.
- People should avoid places like pubs, clubs and theatres. This applies especially to those in London which is “a few weeks ahead” of the rest of the UK.
- People should stop all unnecessary travel.
- By the weekend, those with the most serious health conditions should be largely shielded from social contact for 12 weeks.
The hygiene guidance remains that everyone should wash their hands for 20 seconds; use a tissue for coughs; avoid touching their face.
The government says its previous advice also remains, everyone should regularly wash their hands and avoid contacting the NHS unless it’s essential.
These measures, according to the government, will delay the spread of the epidemic so that the NHS can cope with demand and save lives.
Hill Church Decisions
We continue to monitor the news, government advices and responses from other churches to make informed decisions, particularly for the safety of our members who are ‘at risk’ – over age 70, pregnant or with underlying health issues.
We are not seeking to make long term decisions but reviewing our response daily within the advices of the UK Govt. Therefore, in line with the latest Government advice on necessary social distancing and restrictions, we have made some decisions to minimise the risk to church members and do our bit in delaying the spread of the virus. This is a time for courage, but also for being sensible and honouring our government’s advices. For now therefore the following church activities are postponed:
- Sunday meetings at Matthews House
- Life Group gatherings
- The Hood
- Plugged In
- All non-essential church gatherings
Everyone doing their bit
We encourage all church members to take the government advice seriously to ensure we all do our bit to minimise the spread of the virus. Church gatherings may be postponed but:
- that doesn’t mean church ‘stops’ – We don’t GO to church; we ARE the church!
- We should look for opportunities to show care especially to those who are isolating, feel isolated or need encouragement and help in any way.
We are currently looking to arrange two ‘online’ meetings a week on Thursdays at 8pm and Sundays at 4pm called ‘Live & Online’. More details to follow shortly!
For those that are not able to connect online we are working on strategic ways to keep encouraged and connected during this time. More details to follow shortly, but we can all do our bit to be the good samaritan Jesus encourages us to be !
Our focus needs to shift from having meetings, to meeting each other’s needs. Therefore look for opportunities to encourage and support one another, particularly those who are more vulnerable or isolated and lonely.
We will look back on this time with God stories of provision, serving and love in action!
Be of courage! Give thanks in every circumstance! Keep praying and use time you may have to draw close to the Lord.
Psalm 118:6 The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
The Lord is with me; he is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies.