Moving Towards Services Resuming

Since the end of March our worship services have being pre-recorded on Friday evenings and then uploaded to our church website for use on the Lord’s Day. For those who do not have internet access, CD copies have been made and distributed each week. Thanks are due to Robert Pinkerton who has been in charge of the recording and of the copying of the CDs. Thanks also to Jennifer Fallows who uploads the services to the website , to Roy Pinkerton who has assisted me with the CD distribution and to Lois Kennedy who in recent weeks has provided us with a voice to sing along to in the chosen psalm portions.

Our intention for June 28th is to continue to provide the recordings on the website and on CD. We also hope to try out a drive-in service to see how effective this might be. The speakers in the church building will be cabled out into the car park and we hope that the sound will be loud enough to be heard by those who come and sit in cars with the windows down at one side. We will not know until we try it how successful this will be. It may provide more of a sense of gathering together, though we will be isolated within our various cars, so it will not provide opportunity for fellowship or social interaction.

If it should be the case that the drive-in option doesn’t work very well – for example, if people are not able to hear clearly, the service will be available on the website to listen to. The aim is to have a drive-in service at 12 noon. There will be no drive-in evening service. Both services will be available on the website and CDs will still be delivered to those who normally get them.

Looking ahead to July 5th, there is the hope that we will be able to meet together indoors for worship that day. This will not be confirmed until the Stormont Executive gives it the go-ahead on Thurs 25th June. On that date we expect to hear what measures will have to be put in place for worship services to be able to resume. It is likely that if we are able to comply with the requirements, the services will be held in our church hall initially as this provides better flexibility for seating arrangements to comply with whatever social distancing regulations are in force come that time.

We do not know yet how all this may work out. We do not know if we will be allowed to have singing in our meetings as this carries a higher risk of spreading the virus. There will be a lot to be thought through and put in place before we will be able to come together again in worship, but it is encouraging to think that in a couple of weeks we might be able to hold public worship services indoors again.

Some of our members who have received letters advising them to shield may not be able to attend public worship once our meetings resume. We will seek to ensure that recordings of our services are posted to the website soon after they take place and that CD recordings are distributed as soon as feasible after the worship services.

Please pray for wisdom in the outworking of all of this – that soon we may be able to meet together again and to do so safely.

Rev. David Fallows