Since the first national lockdown, the guidance from the government has moved the goalposts on more than one occasion. Devolved government has routinely taken a different appraoch to that coming from Downing Street. And local lockdowns have been introduced. All this makes keeping up to date very hard!!
EFCC churches are encouraged to stay abreast of both their local and national guidance. However, we will still attempt to give consistent and regular advice to our churches. The following documents were prepared specifically for those churches where EFCC acts as Trustee but are shared with our wider body in an effort to encourage churches to re-open for worship as soon as restrictions allow.
Our key documents containing advice to churches, complete with a number of helpful links are above. But you may also find it helpful to browse these e-mail updates – each one will take you no longer than 60 seconds to scan.
Tom’s weekly sermons
While the lockdown continues, our Ministry Director, Tom Brand will post a weekly sermon. These are primarily to encourage our pastors and church leaders. However, they will also be of real benefit to any churches who may not have the technology to stream services themselves.
A new sermon will be posted each Friday or Saturday and you’ll find links to previous sermons below.
Luke 23:33-39 The cross of Christ
Leviticus 10:3 I will be Holy
1 Peter 2:1-3 Grow in love for the Lord
1 Peter 1:13-2:2 Christ is the centre of universal history
1 Peter 1:13 Set your hope on Christ
1 Peter 1:3-9 This is not our home
1 Peter 1 Exiles of the dispersion
Malachi 3:6 I the Lord do not change
John 20:28 The atomic bomb question
Ephesians 1 Every blessing in Christ
Isaiah 30 … the LORD longs to be gracious
Micah 7 Repentance and restoration
1 Corinthians 15 Resurrection!
Habakkuk 3 and the Coronavirus
Holding meetings online or by telephone
For many churches, one of the joys of lockdown is that church meetings get cancelled! However, some churches may well have issues that do need the attention of the whole church. For such instances, the charity commission offers helpful guidance:
“In the current situation, it is becoming increasingly difficult to hold face-to-face meetings. Some charities have clauses in their governing documents that allow them to meet virtually or to use telephone facilities, so we advise trustees to check their governing document and see if they can make amendments themselves to facilitate changes as to how or when meetings are held.
Where there is no such clause in your governing document and you decide to hold meetings over the phone or using digital solutions, we will understand but you should record this decision and that you have done this to demonstrate good governance of your charity.”
Streaming of Sunday services has become commonplace for many in the last weeks. Nick Gray, pastor at Staines Congregational Church reflects on their experiences.
However, for those who may still be unsure, EFCC has a resident expert! Josh Fortune has prepared a short video to help and, if you struggle afterwards, will almost certainly be happy to give a few personal tips.
Many churches have been using ZOOM to stream their services and hold virtual meetings. However, many do so without fully appreciating the security issues that need to be addressed. Mark Barnes has produced a very helpful guide which he has kindly allowed us to share with you.