30/03/2020: An update and a reminder of what’s on
We pray this finds you all well. It’s times like this that we all need to make sure that we keep in touch. Being isolated for a prolonged period of time isn’t great for anyone, and so may we encourage you to get in touch if you need help or just want to chat, all while following the government’s guidelines. It’s good to talk! Your support and prayers are greatly appreciated, especially for those that are struggling in these uncertain times.
We have released a number of videos now. We hope you have found them a comfort. As strange as it is, not being able to meet in person, it has been a real blessing that we can all come and gather together, wherever we are. These videos will continue to be released throughout the week at specific times: a time of prayer/devotions (Monday and Friday morning at 0800), a mid-week bible study on Wednesday evenings at 19:00 and a service on Sunday mornings at 10:30. Don’t worry if you miss anything at the published time, as it will stay on YouTube for you to catch up whenever you are ready. Please also make use of the comments section and add your prayers too.
We will also be having our regular times of communion on the first and third Sundays of the month. So, on Sunday 5th April we invite you to have some bread and wine ready to partake in the Lord’s Supper as we gather around the Lord’s virtual table. We will also do this again on Good Friday and then on Sunday 19th April.
Finally, the latest edition of our Newsletter is out, please follow this link to read it.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and, if you get stuck and need help with anything, please do get in touch.
For now stay safe and God bless, David, Rob & Ben
21/03/2020: Join us tomorrow at 10:30am
Do you want to join us tomorrow morning? Our service will be live from 10:30am
From 10:30am tomorrow morning our service will be live for viewing on YouTube. If you managed to find our morning devotional time during the week this week just head back there, alternatively you can just click this link.
Leave a comment
It would be great to use the comments box as a way of communicating live with each other and giving the feeling of us all being together.
YouTube has two ways of doing this. The ‘chat’ box is for instant temporary communication. This box only exists while the video is live and can be a great way to share thoughts or just say hello to everyone watching.
If you want your comment to be permanent for someone to be able to come back to, for example any questions you have that you would like us to pick up and come back to you with, these are best left in the ‘comments’ box below the video.
We are really looking forward to being able to do this at this time.
Hope to see you tomorrow.
Take care and God bless. David, Rob & Ben
20/03/2020: Communication – our next steps
Thank you to all of you who responded to our last update. It was really useful to see the types of communication you find most helpful.
Following on from our last update, we now have our first video on our YouTube channel, this is a call to prayer and how we can be a beacon in our communities. If you have not yet seen it please head over to the channel and take a look.
Video Church Sermons
On Sunday we will be having a virtual service. We are wanting to keep everyone connected as much as possible. Therefore we invite you to join us online at 10:30am for a time of worship and fellowship. We’ll have some worship, notices, spend some time with scripture along with a time of prayer. The service will hopefully look and feel similar to what we are use to on a Sunday but from the comfort of your home. We know this isn’t ideal but we are working hard to make it as best we can, so please bear with us!
Please go to our YouTube channel to watch the service at 10:30am Sunday 22nd March 2020. If you are unsure about how to do this please look at our message on accessing YouTube or just send us a message. We will also be linking videos to our website so you can also watch it from there.
Midweek bible study
We will be launching a bible study on Wednesday 25th March 2020 at 7pm. We will continue to look through ‘The Crucified is my Love’ for the remainder of the lent period. We will spend around 30 minutes engaging with the book and taking a deeper look into scripture. There will be opportunities for you to post questions and suggestions. We will look at these at the start of the next session the following week and hope to provide some answers for you. Again, this too will be on our YouTube channel so head over there to watch this.
Hopefully you’ve had a chance to connect with a ‘buddy’. This would be someone else in the congregation who you can talk with every so often, in any way that works best for you. Many of you will already have this support network in place, but if you would like us to put you in touch with someone who you can phone, Skype or text, we’d be very pleased to help. It really is just an opportunity to catch up with people, asking how they are, making sure they have essentials, and maybe praying together. If you would like to be buddied up with someone please let us know and we would be happy to make sure you get to connect with someone.
Into the community
The government has made it very clear that we have to be very careful about our physical contact with each other, but one way some of us might be able to help our neighbours is to fill out this slip with your details and posting it through someone’s door. The purpose of the form is to give people your name and number to tell them they can contact you by phone if they are self-isolating. In this way, you might be able to help them with an offer of food, shopping or just a chat on the phone. It could save people from feel lonely and isolated.
We are not encouraging people to put themselves at risk; be careful with contact with other people and try to just post the form through letter boxes.
Offering – giving to the work of the church
We want our church to be able to continue normally as possible at this time. Clearly, we have had to make some significant changes to the way we are doing things, but many of you have asked about opportunities to give financially to the work of the church. This is a principle we see in scripture and would normally include in our services. As ever, we must stress this is something for our regular church family only, there is no expectation for anyone else.
If you already give by standing order then there is no need to change anything. If you don’t give by standing order but would like to start, please get in touch and we can send you the bank details to get this set up. We will be looking at other means of giving too in the future so watch this space for more information.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. As always, if you need any further help or support please give us a call or get in contact. We will keep the website and Facebook page up to date with the latest information.
Take care and God bless, David, Rob & Ben
18/03/2020: Accessing our YouTube Channel
Want to join us for our Sunday morning gathering? Here is how you can.
As of this week, we find ourselves no longer able to meet physically together. As a way to continue coming together in spirit (if not physically) we will be making use of our YouTube channel. We plan to release videos set to come out at specific times, when we can all come and gather together, wherever we are. These videos are going to be released at two specific times for now – a service on Sunday mornings at 10:30 and a mid-week bible study on Wednesday evenings at 19:00.
It really couldn’t be easier for you to join in. There are three simple steps to allow you to join with us for these meetings.
Step 1. Head over to YouTube. This could be on a phone or tablet using the YouTube app, on a computer or laptop by heading to www.youtube.com or even on a smart TV.
Step 2. Search for Swallownest Baptist Church. There are not many of them so we normally come out on top!
Step 3. Click the picture of the church to take you through to our channel, here you will find all our videos, just watch and enjoy.
Easier still, just click here!
You might also find it helpful to click the ‘Subscribe’ button and the bell icon. That way you will get notified every time we put something new up.
Our first upload will be going out tomorrow morning at 8:00am, for those who are able to join us for a short time of prayer to start the day, we would love it if you could come and watch it. Don’t worry if you miss it at the published time, as it will stay there for you to catch up when you are ready. Please also make use of the comments section and add your prayers too.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and if you get stuck and need help with anything, please do get in touch.
God bless, David, Rob & Ben
17/03/2020: Sunday services and communication update
Good afternoon everyone,
Following the government’s announcement yesterday, and having taken advice from national organisations, we have sadly come to the decision that we will not be meeting on Sundays for the foreseeable future. The scientific evidence is clear that meeting together significantly increases the risk of infection, and numerous people in our church family are at higher risk of medical complications.
However, the work of Swallownest Baptist Church will not stop. We are already working on something for this Sunday, and it is as important as ever that we support each other, practically, spiritually, and emotionally; we just have to work out how!
As we approach the unknown of the coming weeks, we want to make sure we have effective lines of communication open with you; both so that we can keep you up to date with the latest church news, but also so that you can keep in touch with us and other church members.
In the remainder of this update, we want to let you know about a few ways of communication that exist already. We also want to get some ideas from you about what you might find helpful going forward.
What can you do already?
Most of you should already have a church directory, which contains the contact information for most people in the church. If you want any help or information please get in touch with any of the church leaders who will be happy to help. Beyond this, we have a few other options for communication that already exist:
• Our website is kept up to date and now has a page all about Coronavirus with the latest implications for us as a church.
• We are also trying to keep our Facebook page up to date with information too. If you use Facebook, you might want to join our private Facebook group. This gives you a place to ask for prayer or share information that you might not want to go out beyond those connected to the church in that group.
• You can contact us via our website contact form. This points to our church email address which is checked very often. We can normally pick up and respond to messages quite quickly.
• Please try not to use the church Twitter feed, as we don’t tend to use it as much as other social media.
What else can we start doing?
We know that most of us prefer to meet face-to-face. This is one of the huge blessings of a normal Sunday morning. However, as this is becoming more difficult, we want to make sure we can keep connected in ways that will help and support us in the coming weeks. It would be really helpful if you can let us know if you use any of the following forms of communication, so we know the best ways we can stay connected.
• Video communication (such as Skype, Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp Video)
• Voice calling (Good-old-land-line, mobile phone etc.)
• Text message (mobile phone text, email, Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp)
• Social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube)
• Other connections (YouVersion Bible app etc.)
• Something else?
So, please let us know how you like communicating, so we can adapt our plans to meet your needs.
Don’t forget, the best place for up-to-date general information is an official government site or a reputable news site. We suggest you check www.bbc.co.uk or https://news.sky.com/uk For up-to-date medical advice, visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19
We will keep in touch about the implications for us as a church. Please keep in touch with us and each other.
Take care and God bless, David, Rob & Ben
17/03/2020: Coronavirus Update 17th March 2020
Important update following Prime Minister’s announcement
Good morning everyone,
Last night, the Prime Minister and medical experts held a news conference on the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. Everyone in the UK is now being advised to avoid “non-essential social contact” and to avoid place like pubs, theatres and social venues.
In light of this advice, we recommend that Housegroups do not meet face-to-face for the foreseeable future. The three of us are prayerfully considering what this news means for our Sunday meetings and we will be taking national guidance. We will let you know, via email, text and our website, once a decision has been made.
This situation is developing incredibly rapidly, and we going to limit our communication to how it affects us as Christians. In the meantime, please join with us in praying that our national leaders make wise decisions, in praying for peace in our souls during this time of worry, and in praying for God’s protection over our most vulnerable. Please get in touch with us if you have any need at all.
David, Rob and Ben
14/03/2020: Sunday morning service
Our Sunday morning service tomorrow will be going ahead as normal. We would love to have you you with us so please come down. The service starts at 10:30 .
14/03/2020: Meal Postponement
It’s with regret and sadness that we need to let you all know that we won’t be able to go ahead with the meal after church next Sunday (22/03/2020), this meal was to thank Phil and Ollie for all their continuing support and work that they do within church and to mark their retirement from leadership. This is in response to the current situation surrounding Coronavirus.
We will be rearranging the meal for later in the year but we will keep you updated about this. We will still be acknowledging Phil’s retirement within the morning service.
Please can you make sure everyone is aware and pass on this information to anyone who does not have access to the internet.
Thank you, David Rob & Ben
14/03/2020: What should we do about the coronavirus?
We pray that this finds you safe and well.
As a leadership team, we feel it is important that we share some information with you about the coronavirus and the best steps we can take in response.
We have put this information into three categories for you. A practical bit, a pastoral bit and a final thought with some points for prayer. It’s also important to stress that we are available if you have any questions or concerns, and that you are always welcome to give us a call or send us an email.
What should we do about the coronavirus?
The practical bit.
The Baptist Union has put out the following advice, which we would encourage you to use. Further infomation can be found on: https://www.baptist.org.uk/Publisher/Article.aspx?ID=568780
Currently Government advice regarding Coronavirus, COVID-19 is that individuals should follow good hygiene practices including:
• carrying tissues and using them to catch coughs and sneezes, and throwing the tissue away;
• washing hands with soap and water (for 20 seconds) or using sanitiser gel to kill germs.
• avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• if you feel unwell, stay at home.
• cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
• hugging and shaking hands is optional.
As a church, we feel it is appropriate that for communion we will continue to use one loaf of bread however this will be pre-cut into individual pieces before serving.
We will also be increasing our communication to keep people up to date on the latest news and advice. We will start to use emails a bit more to keep people informed about the impact on church life. We will also post information out on Facebook and the website so please check there if you want to know anything. And or course, there is always the phone if you need anything else.
Love your neighbour.
It’s at times like these that the command Jesus gives us in Mark chapter 12 to ‘love your neighbour’ couldn’t be more important. When the world around us seems dark, the light shines out all the brighter. Now is a great time to show love to your friends, family and the people we live alongside. Let’s all take the opportunity to check in on those around us, make sure they are feeling ok and have all they need. James chapter 2 challenges us to demonstrate our faith by what we do, so let’s take the opportunity to demonstrate love to those around us.
Perfect love casts out fear.
A final thought – It’s easy at these times to allow fear to cause divisions in our community. People put themselves first and allow the media to cause them to fear other people. There is fear of catching the virus and there is fear of spreading the virus on to others. But the Bible teaches us a different way. In the Bible we see that
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…” 1 John 4:18
and in Romans 8 we read
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?…No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
As children of God therefore, loved by Him, we have no need to fear. Our God is greater than anything this world can throw at us. So let us not fall into the trap of fear, but remember love and shine bright in the darkness.
Points for prayer.
You may find Psalm 91 helpful in your prayers for those around you.
• Pray against fear and remind ourselves that God has not given us a spirit of fear. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7).
• Pray for wisdom for our leaders to contain the spread of the virus while protecting the UK effectively. We pray also for the crisis response teams, NHS workers and emergency responders to be protected and be effective.
• Pray for couragement for believers to share Jesus effectively through this time of crisis.
24/7 prayer have shared a Prayer for Deliverance from Coronavirus. You can view and download this prayer here.
As mentioned, we will do our best to keep everyone updated. Please keep an eye out on the website for any more news. If you have any concerns or questions please do get in touch.
Our Sunday service will be going ahead as usual so we would love for you to join with us then.
Take care and God bless, David, Rob & Ben