Dear TVC Church,
Over recent days you’ll be aware that the World Health Organisation has become very concerned over a new variant of coronavirus called Omicron. The government in its desire to limit the spread of this virus has made the wearing of face masks mandatory in crowed places such as shops and public transport. Further announcements and restrictions may well be announced over the coming days and weeks depending on how the situation develops.
After prayerful consideration, and in consultation with the medical advisors that are part of our church, we have decided to take the step of returning to mask wearing throughout our services commencing this coming Sunday 12 December.
We are taking this step because we believe we have a responsibility as a church to support the government’s attempt to limit the spread of this new variant until such time as the scientists have more fully understood it’s potential impact.
It seems inconsistent to us to be told by advisors that we must wear masks in crowded shops and on public transport in order to help limit the spread of Omicron, but then to gather and sing ‘unmasked’ as a crowd in the auditorium. We believe continuing unmasked in our Sunday meetings would undermine the government’s efforts to limit the spread of Omicron.
So this is us, as a community of God’s people, taking responsibility and setting an example in terms of support and care for our wider community, our nation, and our NHS, at what is again a time of some uncertainty.
At the present time we will continue to allow singing behind masks. However, you’ll appreciate this is a changing situation and further restrictions may need to quickly come into play.
As a church, we will obviously continue to keep prayerful, listen to God, review government legislation (as it pertains to churches), and take ongoing medical advice, making any necessary adjustments.
I appreciate this feels like a backward step, and we feel disappointed that we are again facing uncertainty and restrictions, but God remains on the throne, he is in control, nothing surprises him, and so far on this journey he has been amazingly faithful to us as a church. We, therefore, have no reason whatsoever to have anything other than confidence in his faithfulness as we move forward.
In the midst of everything let’s remember God hears the prayers of his people. Let’s pray that even over the coming weeks this variant will be found to be nowhere near as troublesome as some are anticipating, and that we can continue back on the journey of continually easing restrictions as soon as possible.
Whatever the future brings, be encouraged, God will bring us through and out the other side. The current change in circumstances may be disappointing and potentially a bit of a setback, but it doesn’t need to extinguish hope or confidence, because for us that is rooted firmly in God.
Love & God Bless
(on behalf of TVCC Elders & Directors)
06 Dec 2021