Diary Dates

All dates are cancelled. Sadly there will be no services in Church until further notice.

Church Officials

Secretary: Miss A. Shaw, 27 Whernside Road, Lancaster, LA1 2TA.
Treasurer. Mr. G. Shaw: 27 Whernside Road, Lancaster, LA1 2TA,
Tel. 67644

If anyone needs a minister please contact the Church Secretary.

Below is a copy of a letter from the General Secretary of the United Reformed Church.

17 March 2020
To our Ministers of Word and Sacrament and CRCWs

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

We are writing to you during this outbreak of coronavirus (Covid 19) to assure you of our prayers as you minister to those in our churches and communities who will be feeling anxious about the future and concerned for the health of friends and neighbours, as well as themselves. We too would value your prayers as we consider the effects of this virus on the work of the Assembly office.

As you know the Government has now strongly discouraged public gatherings and will shortly issue advice for over 70 year-olds and those who may be particularly vulnerable. Many of our churches have already suspended all acts of worship, physical meetings, and other church activities, probably for a few months. While this is profoundly sad, we think it is a proper response to the Government’s guidance, and it is a policy that we strongly encourage every church to consider. We shall of course update you as guidance changes.

Some of our people may be involved in community support and care, in formal and informal ways. Naturally we shall want to be careful, for others’ well-being and also our own. If your church buildings continue to be used for any activities e.g. a food bank, you will be especially careful about hygiene.

However, as we cease meeting physically for worship, this may prove most difficult for the group such measures are designed to protect, the elderly. Some steps can be taken to ensure that congregants do not feel isolated.

1. Consider some kind of telephone cascade system to enable prayer requests, pastoral news and the need for practical help to be passed on. This should be the most inclusive way of communicating as it accommodates those who are not able and confident in using a computer.
2. Andy Braunston is working to extend Daily Devotions from the URC to include a short Sunday service framework, starting this Sunday 22 March. The sign up for those who do not yet receive them can be found on the URC website: devotions.urc.org.uk
3. Many of you are either already streaming services or planning to begin. If you are just starting, remember to check the copyright issues first.
4. The Communications Team will soon feature a page on the URC website showing where anyone can join in with online worship, from live broadcasts to recorded sermons. If your church can help with this please let Andy Jackson know: <andy.jackson@urc.org.uk>. There will also be guidance for those who want to start using Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and other social media channels.
5. FaceTime/Skype may enable some to gather in small Bible study or fellowship groups.
6. You may have other ideas that will help to sustain our people and their church life through difficult weeks ahead. If so, we shall be glad to hear from you.
7. Let us not forget the wider community in our concern for congregants. Neighbours can offer shopping or a friendly chat on the phone, without putting their own health at risk from those who are self-isolating.
8. Following the cancellation of this week’s Mission Council and all of the Spring Synod meetings, we will find ways of letting you know how work can be carried forward. A decision about General Assembly will be made over the course of the next few weeks.

Finally, a prayer:

Lord Jesus,
In the midst of a storm,
You said, ‘Peace be still.’
Bid our anxious fears subside,
Sustain your church in faith, hope and love,
Bring our nation through this tumult,
Grant wisdom to those with heavy responsibilities,
And healing and hope to those who are infected,
Amen

Yours sincerely,
John Proctor, Jane Baird, Francis Brienen, Richard Church
General Secretary Deputy General Secretaries

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I make no apologies for including the piece below as I do not think that it can be repeated too often.

Coronavirus

1 . If you have a runny nose and sputum, you have a common cold

2. Coronavirus pneumonia is a dry cough with no runny nose,

3. This new virus is not heat-resistant and will be killed by a temperature of just 26/27 degrees. It hates the Sun.

4. If someone sneezes with it, it takes about 10 feet before it drops to -the ground and is no longer airborne,

5. If it drops on a metal surface it will live for at least 12 hours – so If you come into contact with any metal surface – wash your hands as soon as you can with a bacterial soap.

6. On fabric it can survive for 6-12 hours, normal laundry detergent will kill it.

7. Drinking warm water is effective for all viruses. Try not to drink liquids with ice.

8. Wash your hands frequently as the virus can only live on your hands for 5-10 minutes, BUT – a lot can happen during that time – you can rub your eyes, pick your nose unwittingly and so on.

9. You should also gargle as a prevention. A simple solution of salt in warm water will suffice.

10. Can’t emphasise enough – drink plenty of water!

THE SYMPTOMS

1. It will first infect the throat, so you’ll have a sore throat lasting 3/4 days

2. The virus then blends into a nasal fluid that enters the trachea and then the lungs, causing pneumonia. This takes about 5/6 days further.

3. With the pneumonia comes high fever and difficulty in breathing.

4. The nasal congestion is not like the normal kind. You feel like you’re drowning. It’s imperative you then seek immediate attention.

SPREAD THE WORD – PLEASE SHARE,

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On a lighter note, I cannot see why toilet rolls seem to be being hoarded. A comment on Radio Cumbria reminded me of my young days, before the appearance of the modern, soft, two ply rolls.

No doubt a number of you will remember the rolls we had, rather like greaseproof paper. I think that they were “Izal” rolls, and had on each sheet at the bottom a note, in green, that they were medicated with germicide. However, not everybody used toilet rolls. Some people cut up newspapers and hung the on a string behind the toilet door. One person I knew told me that in his family they always cut up the ‘Radio Times’ for the job. He did not know the reason for it always being the ‘Radio Times’.

We do not know what is lying in store for us over the coming months, perhaps a full year of more according to the experts. Perhaps that is a good thing. We who are over seventy may end up having to stay in our houses all the time for a few months. We do not know. If that happens, what will happen to churches, like ours, and other organisations where many people are over age seventy.

As you will all know, things change by the hour. This is the second set of pages I have sent in for the Messenger, with its publication date having been set back a week. Things which a week ago I had thought I may be able to do have now all been cancelled. It is going to be a difficult time for many people, businesses having to close, some perhaps for ever.

All any of us can do is put our trust in the Lord and try to help each other.