Video Update – 20th March 2020

At the end of a confusing & uncertain week for us all, please find below the first of many video updates – grab a cuppa! [transcript below]

You can collect some ‘Neighbour Support’ cards from Reception, or download them here and print them at home.

Be sensible & stay safe.

God bless!


Jonathan Blake
Rayleigh Baptist Church! You probably thought you wouldn’t see us at least for a little while, but I’m sorry to spoil your week.

We just wanted to keep in contact with you and just thought it’d be a great way of seeing people’s faces actually, in a week when our social interaction is has rapidly diminished for many of us. So this is the first of a number of weekly updates that we we hope to provide for you just about what’s going on at Rayleigh Baptist Church what’s what the latest news and information really is all about? We understand that you’ll only be able to access this if if you have access to technology and internet and things like that. We do recognise that a number of our fellowship don’t have that. So whatever you learn from this, if indeed you learn anything from this, please can you just share with those that you think may not have heard it or may not have access to it be wonderful to be able to support one another during these very interesting and challenging times, just to remember that we are where church, we’re Rayleigh Baptist Church, whether we meet together at some point in the future, we’re still Rayleigh Baptist Church, wherever we are, we meet spiritually and actually at the moment, we’re meeting virtually. So just to say this is an update of what’s going on, hopefully have lots of useful information for you. But we’ll continue to do this.

Ricky Rew
So let me just tell you about our plans for for what we’re doing in terms of the office and the staff. The church office remains open. If you need to contact us you can contact us on the usual telephone number but the office is only going be open from 9am until 1pm each day Monday to Friday. And most of the staff will be working from home. But there will be staff in the office for those times, the office will be staffed by two people to enable us to respond to whatever happens but we’re here still, we’re still working, we’re still here to respond to your needs as best we can. The calls and the emails will be monitored as they would be if it were a regular week. Now we know that we won’t have a regular week for for some time yet. But our new regular will be 9am to 1pm in the office, but you can still contact us. As usual outside those times the emergency phone is still live as well of course, if you need to contact us outside office times,

Jonathan Blake
Unsurprisingly, at this particular time, the most important thing that we can do as a church fellowship is to support one another and to support our neighbours. Unity as well, I guess where there’s no social interaction, it’s so easy to feel isolated to feel marginalised. There’s an awful lot of information going around. And it’s easy just to to lose sight of who we are as a church family and what we can do for one another, but the communities that we serve as well. I’ve spoken to, most of if not all of the Life Group Leaders, and they’re very much on top of making sure that life groups will continue to talk to one another, be it by text, perhaps if you’re technologically enabled, you might be able to set up video calls and the likes but but really just contact one another at this time. Just a voice on the phone, perhaps a video call where someone can see your face would be wonderful, as I say Life Group Leaders have already on top of this, and it’s wonderful that they’re doing that, but to say as well but that as a church family, we can support one another in that. If you’re able to perhaps help and do some practical things for our fellowship or our local community, then then please do let us know we’ve had a number of people who said, we’d love to pick up groceries, perhaps prescriptions, if we’re able to do that, or lots of different things, if you’re able to do that. So if you’re not socially distancing, if you’re not self isolating, but you feel like you’re able to do that, then please drop us a line at the Reception email address, and we’re compiling a list at the moment for those people that we can call upon just to be supportive of those who who are going to find it difficult to get out and to, to have what they need.

Ricky Rew
If you’re on email, you’ll receive Prayer Connect, please can I ask that perhaps one way of instigating a better social interaction is that if you can think of someone who may not receive the prayer connect email, give them a call & find out how they’re doing. Pray with one another, you know, you can pray on the phone. I know it seems alien perhaps to some of us it is a new habit that perhaps we need to get into. It’s a good habit as well. But make sure that everyone’s aware of what’s going on with prayer needs are, pray with one another is not difficult and then that person could pray with another person. Maybe you want to work through an old church directory, perhaps it is that you’ve got a list of contacts that you can just find one person, the next person in your contact list. if it’s someone you can pray with and share with but we don’t want to lose that sense of connectedness. Obviously, were all looking after each other as a church fellowship. And that’s wonderful, but I think more than ever, this is a great opportunity to serve our communities and to really support their needs as well. So then we’ve produced something called a neighbourhood help card, a ‘Hello Neighbour’ card, and on it, it just simply says, you know, this is my name, this is my contact number. If I can help you in any way, if you’re able to do that, then put your details on there, put it through the post, the letterbox of your next door neighbour or in your close or whoever it is that you want to contact. This is a Rayleigh Baptist Church one and on the back it will also have our contact details and it’s got a verse of scripture there as well as as a way of encouragement. Just to say that if you don’t want to have Rayleigh Baptist Church contact cards, we do have them without our logo on as well. To be honest with you, we share our faith whether we say we’re from Rayleigh Baptist Church or not. The important thing is that we go and support our communities. This is such a wonderful opportunity for us just to show that the church isn’t for the few. But actually, it’s for our communities, it’s for the many. And so we want to encourage you in whatever way you can to support one another phone one another text one another video, call one another, but make sure we were looking outwards as well to the needs of our community. There is so much we can do.

You may be aware that we’ve cancelled all of our our youth and our children’s work. But we know what a challenging time this is going to be particularly for parents of children and young people. And obviously, there is a limit to what we can do, but we will do all that we can to help. So we are we’re looking to pull some resources together. There are loads of resources available online. And we’re going to pull some of those together and we’re going to point parents of young people and children to those resources. We’ll be publishing things on the website. All of this will be accessible to to anyone, so it’s not just for members of Rayleigh Baptist Church, if you have friends who you think would find this helpful or family members, point them to the website, and those resources should start going up next week. At the moment, we’re just gathering our thoughts about what that might look like, what are the existing resources we have. And then we will look a bit further on to producing some of our own where we feel that that’s appropriate. And we’re going to be in contact with our local schools to see see if there are any ways that we can support them in this time, bearing in mind the restrictions that are on so many of us, what is it that we can do, and we’d love to have that conversation with them. If you can think of something that you’d like us to do, by all means, send that into Reception as well. And we will we’ll bring that into our conversation and our thinking. We’ve been in touch with all the parents of children and young people connected to our church. And and we’ve said expect these resources to come. We’ll be in touch with the the children and youth team as well. And we’ll start a conversation about about ideas, how can we support and resource. We know we can never we can never meet the needs that we would meet face to face. We can never replace that unless we meet face to face, but actually what can we do? We will all have ideas and things to contribute. And we’ll be doing that. Obviously we’re prioritising things, we’ll be doing that a bit further on. But we’d love to have your ideas and your input into that as well.

Just to say that we want to support the fellowship as a whole. But in particular, we recognise that we have many people who are perhaps more vulnerable and at risk where we’re currently compiling a list of those who are particularly in need, what would be really helpful for us as Ministers and it will be in confidence with with the with the Eldership is that if you are self isolating, please can you let us know we want to support you and obviously, self isolation is going to bring with it a whole host of needs and things that we may be able to support you with. As I say, let us know it will be in confidence. But we want to make sure that that certainly we can support those who are who are most at risk and those who need our help at this particular time. So please do let us know what’s going on. This time is all about communication. It’s about supporting one another and talking to one another. And so please do let us know because that helps us to help you as well.

And then the final thing to say, I don’t know what plans you have for Sunday given that we’ve cancelled our gatherings here, at the MegaCentre and at Rosedale, but we would love you to come online and gather with us gather together remotely and virtually and we will have a service ready for Sunday morning so won’t look anything like you’re used to – come and find out what that’s like. It will be a service that we have planned anyway for Mother’s Day, it’s due to be an All age service, there will be craft activities for the children. There will be songs to sing, we can do that in our own homes. There’ll be prayers that we can share together. But would you come online 10:30 on Sunday morning, we will send details to you before that, so you know where to find it. But we have a video service, we will all be able to interact together. But we’ll be able to join together spiritually and join together virtually as we do that, we’d love for you to be part of that. And we’re looking forward actually to seeing how that develops over the weeks and months ahead.

So would you please just stay in touch with us and more importantly, stay in touch with each other. We’d love for you to encourage one another communicate with each other. And whilst we don’t get to gather together as the church but we still get to be the church, wherever we are, in these coming weeks and these coming months. Our role is is to care for you, but we want to encourage you to do that and enable you to do that. So please be in touch with us. You know, we feel we’re in a good place where we’re feeling really supported. We’re feeling really encouraged. And actually, bizarrely, we’re feeling really excited about what this what this strange time offers to us in terms of opportunities. So we look forward to gathering with you on Sunday, and we look forward to being in touch with you in the week ahead. God bless you. God bless. Goodbye.

Jonathan Blake
Do we need to antibac now?

Ricky Rew
I think we do.

[ Transcribed by Otter ]