26th July 2020
The buildings of Stanhope Methodist Church are currently closed due to Covid-19. However, the Church is not the buildings, the Church is a community of Christians who meet to worship God, who support and encourage each other. Stanhope Methodist Church is open!
Since the lockdown started in March this year, our church community has moved online. Our Bible Study group meets weekly using Zoom. With the West Durham Methodist Circuit, we are holding regular Sunday Worship services, either streamed on our YouTube Channel or as Zoom discussions.
As the lockdown restrictions start to ease, we are starting to discuss the options for re-opening our buildings and re-starting services in those buildings. Currently, there are still restrictions over the type of services that could take place - social distancing rules still apply, no singing, no tea/coffee, short services. We feel that it is too early to reopen, so for the moment we are continuing with our online services and events. We also recognise that we may never return to the style of worship as it was before Covid.
Over the next few months we, with the other churches in the Circuit, will start to pray about, think about and discuss what our churches should be like in this new world. There will be a prayer event at the beginning of September, followed by a series of online services with two themes - "Rethinking Church" and "Our Calling". See the Calendar for full details.
These are difficult times but also exciting times with new opportunities! As God said through Isaiah:
"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God,
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?"
Isaiah 43: 1-3, 18-19 (NIV)