Updated 21 June 2020
The UK and Welsh Government has this week announced further changes to the lockdown measures that have been in place since 23 March 2020.
Whilst many non-essential businesses and services have now been given permission to open, travel restrictions are being lifted and self-contained holiday accommodation will soon be open for bookings, there is still no clear idea when churches will be allowed to open for worship services again.
Church Is Essential
In both the UK Government and Welsh Government lockdown exit strategies, the church is classed as non-essential. In England, the church has been included in the same category as the hospitality industry, and meetings could potentially be allowed from 4 July. However, in Wales, the picture is even more unclear, with buildings only permitted to be opened for private prayer from Monday 22 June 2020.
Under the Welsh Government’s lockdown exit strategy published on 15 May 2020, Sunday services will not be permitted until the traffic light system reaches amber, where “services and size of congregations will be linked to their ability to ensure physical distancing”. There is currently no time frame attached to this system.
It is clear that neither the UK government, nor the Welsh Government considers the church as an essential organisation. Many non-essential shops and services now have permission to reopen next week in Wales and there appears to be no imminent announcement on places of worship.
For people of faith and those searching, church is not only ESSENTIAL but VITAL in recovering both spiritually and emotionally from the coronavirus pandemic.
Churches not only provide strength, comfort and security to people, they also help people navigate through the most difficult times of their lives, such as now.
Many churches can put effective social distancing rules in place, have hand washing and sanitising stations available and have a one way system for people to enter and exit churches safely. This means that there is NO reason why churches cannot be allowed to open.
Last week we started an e-petition on Change.org to address our First Minister for Wales, the UK government, Members of Senedd (MS), and local council on this issue. This has now reached over 250 signatures and continues to grow.
We are asking you to:
Sign our e-petition to show your support for the church being essential, and share it on your social media channels.
Continue with us in prayer for our government, and that they will have wisdom in every decision, and that we would find favour with them to open, without further delay.
Our current activities
Broadcast on the Church Online Platform. You can submit prayer requests, give online, and stay connected through our online host and support staff, who are ready to serve you live.
A one-hour programme that discusses a different biblical theme every week through worship, discussion and words from special guest speakers.
All of our content is available on demand so you can watch at an alternative time to suit your schedule.
Fellowship and mentoring
Many of our ministries are holding weekly or bi-weekly meetings online so that you can continue to build relationships, fellowship and grow in faith together. These include:
Encounter Youth, every Friday at 7pm
Ascend Young Adults (18-30), every Sunday at 8pm
Assemble Men’s Ministry, every other Monday at 8pm
Soul Food for Women, every other Saturday at 7pm
Embrace Singles Ministry, every other Saturday at 8pm
You can find out more and register for all of these using your ChurchSuite account. If you haven’t received an invitation to join ChurchSuite, please contact the office and we will arrange to get you set up.
Our leadership team and ministry leaders are continuing to check in with you to make sure your spiritual and practical needs are taken care of.
If you need anything during this season, please contact the team member who is in touch with you. If you don’t have a regular contact, please contact the church office on 01633 250001, or email email@example.com and we will ensure someone is in touch.
The Storehouse - providing essential supplies
Our Storehouse team is continuing to receive and distribute food and other supplies on a daily basis. Lives are being impacted across Newport and the wider community thanks to your generous support!
You can continue to give in to this work through our online giving form, or by sending a direct transfer to:
Account: TWC Storehouse
Sort Code: 56-00-59
Account Number: 35269812
Don’t forget, the following tools and resources are available to you as a TWC member.
We recently sent your email invitation to My ChurchSuite - your personalised member dashboard. In ChurchSuite you can stay connected to all that’s happening at TWC as well as booking onto events, manage your giving and listen to the latest podcasts!
As we make preparations for a return to physical gatherings, we will be using ChurchSuite to help provide a safe environment for worship, so it’s important that you get connected if you can.
Known as “the Netflix of Christian Bible study”, RightNow Media is a streaming library of powerful Biblical video content for you and your family to build your faith in this season!
If you haven't received your details, for either of these, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and one of the team will help you get started.
Giving to The Warehouse Church
The best options to give your Tithes and Offerings are:
Use the following details to send a direct transfer or set up a standing order with your bank:
Account: The Warehouse Church
Sort Code: 56-00-59
Account Number: 34697683
Go to My Giving in your ChurchSuite account and click Donate.
Use the simple, secure TWC website form. You can set up a one-off or recurring gift using either method.
Simply text "TWC GIVE" and the amount to 07380 307 800 and you'll receive a link give your gift in a few clicks.
Please note that our office staff are working from home so we are unable to accept cash donations at this time. If you would like to give by cheque, please make it payable to The Warehouse Church and send it to:
The Warehouse Church, 23 Mill Parade, Pillgwenlly, Newport, NP20 2JQ.
Full details of all giving methods are available on our dedicated Giving page.
Be aware that the laws and restrictions in England and Wales are different.
Stay local to keep Wales safe
Current Welsh Government guidelines are to:
always observe social distancing
wash your hands regularly
if you are meeting one other household, stay outdoors and stay local
work from home if you can
stay at home if you or anyone you live with has symptoms