Updated 17th March – The Circuit Leadership Team Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak




a – Circuit Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance Note

b – The Methodist Church Coronavirus Guidance and Recommendations

c – worship-if-you-are-unable-to-attend-church-1 (1)


Update 17th March in Red

Covid 19 Circuit Leadership Team (CLT) Response.

As a Circuit Leadership Team, we are seeking to offer guidance in this time of anxiety and difficulty. We gave out the appropriate response for Worship Services at the weekend with an emphasis on hand washing, avoiding physical contact with others and asked vulnerable folk not to come to Church.

In light of the advice given from the government regarding social gatherings, we, as a CLT recommend the following

  • We pray for each other, our communities, our nation and our world at this time of unprecedented uncertainty.

  • We ‘suspend the plan’ for March 22nd, March 29th and April 5th, asking Local Preachers and Ministers NOT to lead a formal act of worship as currently indicated in the Circuit Plan.

  • At the discretion of each church community, churches can be opened to offer pastoral support and reassurance with prayer opportunities at the usual worship times.

  • If your church is open, all hygiene procedures to be in place including good practice of personal distancing. Each local church to be responsible for how this time is used in a sensitive and gentle way.

  • Each of us has a responsibility to care for each other and to contact all Church members and worshippers, as well as others whom we care for. Please allow all to know these recommendations and assure them that they are loved and cared for. There are streamed Services on the Methodist Church website and, as a Circuit, we will endeavour to provide resources if required.

We hope to offer an update in good time for Easter Services

The Circuit Meeting and lunch with Rev Steve Wild at Caldicot for Saturday March 21st is CANCELLED as is the Marriage and Relationship Discussion set for Wednesday March 18th at Bishpool.

These measures are in place for the next three weeks and, as a CLT, we will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed of changes.

  • . [Also see the wise advice of ways we can provide practical and reassuring help, given by our Safeguarding Team below]

Safeguarding our folk:

Considering the likelihood of our elderly community members being asked to self-isolate and our suggestion that pastoral visitors make telephone calls rather than face to face visits, we would like to offer some suggestions about shopping. Offering to shop for them yourself may not be a straightforward solution as you may also be in self-isolation or there may be rationing on some goods.

If you know of someone or know a neighbour who needs help with shopping you could offer the following:

Online delivery: Currently there is a minimum spend and delivery slots are becoming hard to find. You may wish to share a bigger order to maximise the use of any of these slots.

If there is no alternative but to use cash to complete a shop please remember that these people are meant to be self-isolating, so you should only meet with them briefly . Ideally you should contact a family member to advise that you are going to do the shopping.  Ask the person to confirm how much cash they are giving you, ensure that you check and note the value that is given to you beforehand and that you return the receipt and the correct change. Keep your own record of your visits and the cash handling.

In all cases please remember to wash or sanitise your hands before and after visiting the home either to collect money and a list or to drop off the shopping.

As with everything relating to the spread of the Covid – 19 this advice may change.


The Methodist Church is monitoring the situation around Coronavirus (COVID-19). As indicating above, we recommend the churches be open only for prayer and reassurance. If your church is open, we recommend the use of these practical precautions to help prevent the spread of infection.

We would ask that:

  • Older Members of the Church and those with underlying health issues should consider not attending the church for the time being particularly if they are worried about the infection.

  • You do not attend Church if you are feeling unwell or display symptoms of a cold or have members of your family or household who are unwell until they have been cleared of any infection.

  • You refrain from using Church Hymnbooks and Bibles

  • Good hand hygiene is maintained through washing with soap and water or the use of sanitiser gel.

  • You refrain from close contact such as shaking hands, hugging or kissing.

  • We all practice personal and social distancing.

Due to the nature of this virus our guidance is likely to be amended at short notice.

Further Guidance is available from the Methodist Church Website: Methodist.org.uk


Reverend Gordon Gresswell

NLWC Superintendent Minister

The Circuit Leadership Team met on Friday 13th March 2020 and discussed how the Churches in the Circuit should respond to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak.

The Methodist Church has provided guidance and it was felt that it was important to send a message to our congregations and church leaders so there is continuity of our actions and responses across the district.

Attached is the central guidance from the Methodist Church, an alternative online Church Service for those who would not be able to attend Church on Sunday at the moment and a one sheet guidance note for the general congregation.

It will be important that individual church leaders read the Central Guidance and consider with the Lead Minister all activities currently undertaken at their church and which activities and practices may need to be curtailed at any given stage, which may include short notice changes to the plan or the cancelling of church services.

We also need to keep those who look after the church building and activities well informed of the action they need to take and how they report any incidents which need further assessment or action.

It is also important that Ministers within the circuit keep regular channels of communication open with the Superintendent who can maintain a consistent approach to the hard decisions that may need to be made particularly if key members of the church teams are directly affected by the virus.

Due to the dynamic nature of the virus, we are entering a challenging period for our church and communities and we pray that God will guide us through the action we need to take, those in our congregation who are vulnerable and how we alter  our worship, holy communion and pastoral care.

We remember that the Methodist Church is wider than Britain. We are learning from our sisters and brothers around the world who are dealing with a difficult and uncertain situation and we would ask that you hold them in prayer, particularly those in affected areas.

God Bless


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