Special Message to our Kensington Unitarians Community
We are sorry to have to tell you that we are closing our Essex Church building in response to the coronavirus epidemic, following government guidance. All our planned activities and services are now cancelled for the foreseeable future and the many groups that use our building have all been informed. For many of them this crisis is a shocking disruption to their work and their financial security.
So now the challenge begins. How shall we continue to be a loving church congregation in these unprecedented times? Our building and our regular programme of activities have helped provide a routine and a structure for our spiritual and social lives. Now we need to think of new ways to connect.
We plan to send out a list of email addresses and phone numbers of all who gave permission for this on a church membership form since 2018 to assist members of our community in keeping in touch. If you want to check the information we have, want to opt out, or would like to have your details included and are not sure if you’ve filled out a form, can you please contact Jane (firstname.lastname@example.org) before the end of Saturday about this.
We hope to ensure that anyone who would like to have phone or email contact on a regular basis can make an arrangement with a few people. If you are unsure who to connect with we have had offers from Julia Alden, Annie Fowler, Jenny Moy, Sonya Leite, Liz Tuckwell and Michaela Von Britzke. You are of course welcome to contact Sarah our minister with pastoral concerns. Hannah King has suggested writing letters and sending cards so we will be organising that next week and do let us know if you’d like to be involved.
Given the reality that most of our congregation members live quite a distance from one another, we suggest that everybody now ensures they have a connection with neighbours locally for times of practical need. You can connect with local support groups through the Covid Mutual Aid website or the Nextdoor community organisation.
We plan to send out a weekly pastoral letter – via email, or post. This will include useful information to help us adjust to a very different way of being, so do send your good ideas to email@example.com. Jane Blackall is offering Heart and Soul sessions via Zoom and, having had a couple of trial runs this week, she reports that the experience is remarkably similar to the face-to-face gatherings. We hope to make this a regular way to connect online and indeed Jane has pencilled in Heart and Soul sessions on Friday and Sunday evenings so contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to join in (you’ll need to sign up ahead of time as numbers on each are limited to 12 but we’ll add extra sessions if there is demand). Contact Jane if you want some remote support on using Zoom and she’ll do what she can. It’s simple and free to use and could enable us to talk with one another in small groups.
This looks likely to be an extended period of altered lifestyles, so please do take best care of yourselves in the times ahead, keep in touch and let’s keep our Unitarian chalice flame alight in our hearts, connecting us one with another.
With love and best wishes, Sarah