WALLINGTON BAPTIST CHURCH
Minister: Rev. Ian Pearce
Church Office, Queens Road, Wallington, Surrey, SM6 0AH
Dear Wallington Church Family & Friends,
I’m sure you have been following the unfolding events and changes that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought to all of our lives. Following the guidance sent out from public Health England and Baptist Union of Great Britain, you may have already guessed, we will not be meeting on Sunday morning for the foreseeable future. In fact, due to social distancing requirements, all church activities that require people to meet are also suspended.
However, we are still alive and active as a church community. We will continue to seek ways to worship together, pastorally care for one another and to put God’s love into practise in practical ways both in and beyond our church community. This is perhaps the time, more than at any other I have lived through, where God’s call for us to love our neighbours as ourselves is at its most vital and vibrant.
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” John 21:17
We plan to continue to provide opportunities to worship together. You’ll find us on the church Facebook Group. As this develops we hope to be able to provide you with a schedule of when devotionals & worship services will appear online, this alongside other helpful updates. As we can, we will also record these activities on DVD or MPS and deliver them to those who are unable to get online.
We aim to provide other more interactive opportunities for groups to virtually gather online using ZOOM. If you are online and have a webcam then you will be able to participate in prayer meetings, House Groups and other activities.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
In this time of social distancing the pastoral visiting guidance from the Baptist Union is to severely curtail any and all direct meetings. So we shall be moving the main thrust of our pastoral care to the phones. Expect someone from the church to call you and ask how you are. A number of people in the church are pastoral carers in this way and have groups of people to call. But this is a task for everyone, the many and not just the few. This church has a wonderful quality of care and relationship with each other. At this time, I encourage you to ring, text, or Whatsapp, others in the church to offer them conversation, fellowship and supportive encouraging prayer.
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40
Serving Our Neighbours
Pastoral care and showing love to others is more than a matter of words but also a matter of practical action. At this time, it is my heart’s desire to see us as a community of Jesus the King seek to practically care for the needs of the vulnerable within and beyond our community. Already some have volunteered to do shopping for others. In the weeks or perhaps months to come it would be a great time to serve God by serving those around you. I hope we will be able to organise effectively to look after each other and our neighbours in the wider community.
God has made us to have many different aspects to our being, the physical, spiritual, emotional and psychological. At this time, I encourage you to look after yourself as holistically as possible. I’m sure you are well aware of how to do this. For your spiritual health I commend you to daily disciplines of bible reading, worshipping God, prayer and serving others, to aid you in this there is not only what resources we will create but also numerous sermons & bible studies online to feed your soul & Radio 4 Longwave has a morning service at 9.45am each day.
Facing this in a Christly Way
Finally, throughout this strange and unprecedented season I find myself challenged by Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, Ephesians 4:1 “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” Let us strive with all our being to live Christly lives revealed in actions of love to our neighbours.
Rev Ian Pearce
Wallington Baptist Church