Corona Virus: What we are doing as a Chaplaincy
Last updated on 20 June 2020
We are very pleased to announce that some of our services have resumed in church and hall. Due to various restrictions it will only be the 10.30 services, not all four we are used to. Wellspring will continue to be by Zoom for now. We are also holding a service of Holy Communion on Wednesday evening at 19:30. This pattern is to continue till the end of August at least. The 10:30 Sunday services will be live-streamed and recorded and will be available from our website here for those who cannot or wish not attend services in church yet.
The numbers attending will have to be limited to comply with both the advice from the diocese and the rules from the Dutch government. Unfortunately, this means you will have to register your intention to attend a service via email or by calling the office. You will be able to register for a service one week before it takes place.
Junior Church will re-open as well. Do please realise that the children need to be registered as well as their numbers count towards the maximum congregation. At least one of a child’s parents needs to be in either of the services when a child is attending Junior Church.
To register for the service you wish to attend, you need to contact the church office by email at email@example.com or by phone 070 355 5359 by Thursday evening. You will get a confirmation on Friday if you can attend or not.Please let us know the following details:
- Number of people
- Which service you wish to attend (hall or church)
You will understand that we have to deal with many restrictions and regulations to be able to hold live services again. The usual drill applies: wash your hands or sanitise upon arrival, use a tissue if you have to sneese or cough, throw used tissues in the bins provided, don’t shake hands – not even for the Peace. Keep 1,5-2.0 m distance, PLEASE. This applies to before, during and after the service – all the time. The two services will use separate entrances and exits. There will be designated seating to preserve the required distancing. Please do not use the roped-off pews.
There will also sadly be no congregational singing to limit the spread of the virus. There will be a very small choir in the church, much like we have for the online services, and there may be one or two people singing with the music group. There will be no refreshments served after the services but you may meet people outside and chat, keeping the required distance. More details will become available in the next couple of weeks.
We realise this will all sound very odd and unwelcoming but this is the new reality we will all have to learn to live with. Please remember those who cannot come to these first services and ensure they do not feel more left out than is unavoidable. Please pray for those who are working out the many practical and theological issues we are facing to implement this plan.
In the meantime, we continue finding new ways of “being church” to one another during these unsettling times. We shall be updating this page on a regular basis as we receive the latest advisory information.
General Advice: Please do follow the latest advice to from the Dutch government . Let us endeavour to remain calm and make sensible, informed decisions. We put our trust in the Lord, who has promised us his help in times of trouble. We will hold one another in prayer and are grateful for your prayers.
Church practices: We are following guidelines from the Diocese in Europe and The Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). These include:
- A link to our Virtual Church Services has been added here. You might choose to listen at the same time as others, at 10:30 or 5pm, but the service will be available for you at any time, to listen at your convenience.
- Please prayerfully consider whether this is a time to move to planned giving via bank transfer; our operating costs still need to be covered and the work of prayer and pastoral care goes on.
- If you are feeling particularly anxious or you wish a pastoral visit, then do not hesitate to phone the clergy to request that they spend some time with you by telephone, pray for you, or if you are not self-isolating they may be able to visit you. Visitors will follow careful protocols to reduce the risk of transmission. We are not conducting in-person visits to members who are practicing self-isolation at home.
- The clergy will also continue to keep in contact with individual members of the church to enquire about their well-being and offer what support is needed.
- Telephone contact will remain important, and please contact the Church Office if you are in need of practical help, such as groceries delivered or other essentials. There are people available who may be able to assist you while respecting self-isolation measures.
- You are welcome to phone the following numbers at any time:
- Church Office: Tel: 070/355-5359; Monday to Friday, 9.30-12.30
- Interim Minister (Andrew Taylor) Tel: 070/322-7941
- Curate (Guy Diakiese) Tel:06/84.79.07.80
Prayer: If you feel in need of prayer, we encourage you to send your prayer requests to the confidential Prayer Chain at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Advice from other sources: As you will know already, there is a large amount of advice available from many different groups and agencies. Here are links to a few that we think might be particularly helpful. They will all be regularly updated:
- Advice from the Church of England: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-churches
- Advice from the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment: https://www.rivm.nl/en/novel-coronavirus-covid-19
- Advice from the Government of The Netherlands: https://www.government.nl
- Advice from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Cure: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en