3 September 2021: From James Collins, Senior Pastor
Happy Autumn everyone! It seems incredible that we are into the last four months of 2021. I trust that you are settling in to some kind of ‘new normal’ following the removal of legal lockdown restrictions earlier in the Summer. It’s been great to see a good number of you at our Sunday services and other church activities over recent weeks.
I would like to, once again, thank all of you who have worked so hard to keep our church functioning over the last eighteen months. The ministry and office staff have worked tirelessly and have had to adjust to so many changes – sincere thanks. Additionally, I want to thank David Colpus and Chris Marvin and their audio / visual / tech teams who have racked up an enormous number of volunteer hours maintaining our online services.
The situation regarding Covid 19 and all the disruption it has brought into our lives is much improved but still feels very fragile. We all react to these unprecedented circumstances in different ways and I realise that many of you are still concerned about coming to church in-person. Nevertheless, we feel the time is right to take the next step in welcoming increasing numbers back to in-person Sunday worship.
From this Sunday (5th September) we will revert to our pre-lockdown practice of offering two Sunday morning worship services, one starting at 9.30 am and then another starting at 11.15 am. Our 7 pm service will continue as normal. Please note the following important points:
There will be no need to book to attend any Sunday services from now on – you can just turn up. If you still wish to keep some social distance, we will offer you red crosses to put on the chairs next to you or your ‘bubble’ to prevent people from sitting too close to you.
We request that you continue to protect others and yourself by wearing a face mask unless, of course, you have a valid medical reason for not doing so.
Children’s and Youth groups will only be available at the 11.15 am service at this point. Since we anticipate that this will be the busier of the two services, please consider coming to the 9.30 am service if you don’t have children / teenagers coming with you.
We will not be serving tea and coffee at the moment. We will review this in October.
We will live stream the 11.15 am service and continue to make a recording available thereafter.
Those of us who have been attending church in-person over the last few weeks and months are enjoying the restored freedoms: freedom to worship and pray together, freedom to mingle with others and renew our contact with Christian brothers and sisters, freedom to share bread and wine. Please do consider whether this is the moment for you to revert back to ‘in-person’ worship. Whilst we understand that some will be unready or unable to take this step, I hope we all agree that, in principle, in-person worship is what we should aspire to.
11 March 2021
As the lockdown begins to lift, we are delighted by the possibilities of meeting together in person as a church family in the coming months. Here are the full details of how we will begin opening back up - PBC Roadmap for Gathering Together. Details are correct at time of press and as we have learnt over the last 12 months, are dependent on any subsequent updates from the government.
23 February 2021
Following the Prime Minister’s proposal to ease the current restrictions, we will be offering our own road map as a church within the next couple of weeks. This will include an outline for when we envision specific in-person activities may resume.
4 Sept 2020: Update on church activities
The exciting news update is:
1. From this Sunday morning, services are being recorded from the church sanctuary. The live streaming is via:
PBC YouTube channel - please subscribe to the channel to make comments in much the same way as many have been doing using Facebook.
A link to the YouTube channel will also be posted on our Facebook page
Recordings of services will continue to be posted to the church website.
Please contact the church office by email or 020 8668 0422 for help registering or accessing any of the above.
2. There are plans to welcome people back into our church services. Numbers will be limited - we estimate we can fit a congregation of 30-35 people into the church whilst complying with social distancing requirements. You’ll be invited to register if you would like to be part of a congregation. Specific instructions will follow next week for how to register. This will be for the morning service on 13 September and then the evening service on 20 September, and going forward.
CAMEO, Speak It Out and Art Class are all in the process of re-opening. If you are interested in attending, please contact the church office for more information. Please pray that the Lord will help us to run these activities safely and they will be a blessing to those who attend.
Prayer - read more HERE
Unite714 has been a pivotal part of our weekly prayer times during lockdown. Don't miss the fantastic ‘Recalibrate’ prayer booklet which our prayer team have just produced. This is aimed at leading us as individuals and as a community in a process of spiritual renewal and refreshing. Please take the time to work through the booklet – I am sure that you’ll be blessed by it.
We continue to meet at the church on Wednesdays 10.30am for a simple time of socially distanced prayer. Register with the church office if you intend to come and we’ll be delighted to have you with us. Let’s show the Lord we mean business with him by embracing these opportunities to pray together!
One positive outcome of lockdown was a startling growth in the numbers of church members attending a Life Group. There’s always room for you in one of them if you aren’t currently signed up! Find out more HERE.
In response to the enquiries regarding how to give to PBC, please be reminded that you can continue to give via standing order or bank transfer, or even a cheque sent to the church office. The easiest way might be to give online. We will not be taking a physical offering at any of our services in the near future. We remain humbled and grateful to God and all of you for the finances He has provided. We recognise that much of the money we receive has been given sacrificially. Please do pray that we would be wise in how we use these gifts. If you have any questions about the church’s finances, or need some guidance on giving, please contact the church office. They are very happy to answer any questions.
Finally, for Church Members, we are looking at how we might be able to hold a Church Meeting. This will need to be done virtually since the church building cannot accommodate enough people under current social distancing guidelines. Details will follow.
May the Lord continue to protect and bless you.
With much love in Christ, James Collins (Senior Minister) and David Colpus (Church Secretary)
24 July 2020: Update on reopening church. From Marilyn Webb, James Collins & Mike Vam
We are sure many of you will be keen to get back into our building for our worship services and the ministries that generally take place there. Our first event back in the building was the wedding of Ben and Ellie last Saturday, we did have some technical issues, but it did work on the day because of an enormous effort by some of our technical people, a huge thank you to you all. Please remember Ben and Ellie in your prayers as they begin their married life together, it was not the wedding they were planning but nevertheless it was a lovely moving service.
We are hoping that the next occasion we will be using the building will be Sunday 26 July when we will be broadcasting our Sunday morning service from there. This will mean that the service will go out live on Facebook at 10.30am and shortly after the service has finished it will be available on our website. This week we will be sharing communion so please make sure you have some bread and wine, or your equivalent ready to join in.
In due course we plan to also welcome some church members into the building to join us. When appropriate there will be a booking system on the website and for those of you who cannot access the internet you will be able to contact the church office to book a place, you will not be able to just turn up because of the limit on numbers who can attend. Under current regulations we will only be able to invite about 30 people into the church building and we need to put a lot of precautions in place before we can do that in a safe way. There will need to be social distancing inside and outside of the building, with a one way system of entry and exit and hand sanitising on entry. People will need to remain in their seats at all times and we will not be allowed to sing or serve refreshments. It will seem very different to what we are used to but it will be a step towards more normal times. In all of this our priority has to be to follow the Government guidelines to keep everyone safe. We will let you know when you can book in to attend a service and we recognise that this is not for everyone just yet.
As restrictions relax and we become more proficient at managing the risk and doing the cleaning in between events, we will begin to think about opening up for other activities, including prayer meetings and outreach ministries. We look forward to being back in our building and to greeting many of you face to face once again.
9 July 2020: Press Release regarding our Building Planning Permission
Please visit our project section here, or directly via www.purleybaptist.org/pressrelease
3 July 2020: Update on reopening church. From James Collins, Marilyn Webb & Mike Vam
We are sure many of you will be following with interest the flow of information coming from the Government about getting our communities open again following the virus lockdown. We have now received from the Government and the Baptist Union a considerable amount of complex guidelines for the opening of worship services and community events in churches. If you would like to take a look at these and consider their impact on your area of church life, there are some links below:
Mike Vamvadelis and Marilyn will be examining this advice and putting together a project management schedule to ensure that we conform with all the legal requirements, have the necessary precautions in place and move forward at a measured pace to ensure we keep everyone safe. Whilst we appreciate that many of us are really looking forward to meeting together again, our first priority continues to be following the government guidelines and ensuring the safety of all our Church Members and visitors.
We will be in touch with you all again soon when we can outline our proposals for opening our building and in the meantime we ask you to be patient with this process so that we can move forward appropriately whilst still keeping everyone safe.
15 June 2020: From James Collins, Senior Pastor (on behalf of the Pastors and the Leadership Team)
It’s approaching three months since the start of lockdown. As we’ve rung round the congregation, it’s been fascinating, encouraging and humbling to hear your different experiences and reactions to this strange and challenging situation.
We are now beginning the long process of ‘unlocking’ and re-emerging into the world. Undoubtedly things will have changed – the virus has touched us all in different ways and we’ll need to accept and embrace a somewhat different way of life.
You may have noticed that the government has announced that places of worship can now open for private prayer. At the time of writing we are still working through the detailed guidance on this but it is clear that this is only for individuals (rather than groups) and strict social distancing will be required. If praying in the church building is something you’d like to do, please let the church office know. Once we have an idea of how many people are interested we will work out how best to do this.
You may have seen one of the growing number of articles about how church life will emerge from lockdown. As you can imagine, we have been reading these. My overall conclusion is that the process of ‘unlocking’ will take a good length of time and we’ll need to be able to respond to emerging government guidance in a timely but considered way. Furthermore, we’ll also need to accept that our outreach will need to be focused on a somewhat different set of needs. We anticipate that there will be more financial hardship and all the problems that come with that. As we’ve been praying over this the word ‘recalibrate’ has surfaced in our discussions. We believe that all aspects of our church life will need to be carefully measured and, where appropriate, reorganised to fit the new circumstances we emerge into.
5 June 2020 George Floyd: response from our pastors sent to PBC Members
I am sure like all of us you have been appalled and distressed by the news and video footage of the grievous murder of George Floyd. We stand with all of those who have protested about this abhorrent wickedness. We pray that, by the grace of God, this will be a watershed moment; may he deliver our society from the evil of racism in all its forms. May our church family be a beacon of light – a place of genuine community where all dividing walls of hostility are broken down by the Lord Jesus.
You might be interested to read the responses and reflections from within the Baptist Union which are posted HERE. In particular, have a look at the reflection entitled ‘We are all George Floyd, black people can’t breathe!’ by Yinka Oyekan, the President of the Baptist Union. Additionally, James has written a brief response in his blog - click HERE. Furthermore, reflections, prayers and discussions are on the our Facebook Page and our Facebook Congregation Group.
We have invited Stephen Akinsanya to speak in our online service on Sunday. As a barrister he has a wealth of experience of the criminal justice system and many of you will remember how he sensitively and wisely helped us in understanding and responding to the issue of knife crime some months ago. We are looking forward to what he has to say to us as we continue to learn what it means to be authentic disciples of Jesus in the midst of a divided and broken society.
Yours in Christ
Revd Tim Allen, Revd Dr James Collins, Revd Mark Humm and Revd Marilyn Webb
20 March 2020
During this season of ‘social distancing’ here is how we are looking to ‘build community’.
See details in a letter from the pastoral team available here.
17 March 2020 9.20pm
All church activities that involve people in physical proximity will cease immediately until further notice.
See details in a letter from Senior Pastor James Collins available here.
17 March 2020 1.30pm
Following the latest Government guidelines, the following activities will not be happening:
- Night Shelter (Wednesday evening/Thursday morning, last session)
- The Link Homeless Drop-in Thursday evening and until further notice
17 March 2020 am
We are currently prayerfully considering how the government advice issued yesterday (16 March) impacts upon our programme of activities. We will update this page as soon as possible.
13 March 2020
We are regularly monitoring government and NHS advice regarding Coronavirus. Our Sunday services and other midweek activities will continue as normal for now. Any changes to the church programme will be publicised here and by email to those on our distribution list.
The latest update letter from the church is available here: Letter 13 March 2020
Please do remember to pray about the outbreak. We are recommending the use of these Prayer Points.
Latest government advise is is available here. If you are unable to attend church and have to self-isolate please stay in touch and let us know.
Contact the Church Office by email or call 020 8668 0422 (answerphone outside of working hours).