A message from Pastor David Purse
Dear members and friends of Whitewell,
On Thursday afternoon I again was part of a zoom meeting of church leaders and representatives with Stormont MLA’s along with the chief medical officer Michael McBride and the chief scientific officer Ian Young. Together they told us that the present Covid situation in Northern Ireland is the worst it has been. Indeed it is a most serious situation with an alarming rise in new infections and fatalities. They admitted we are now paying the price for the relaxion of the rules over Christmas and subsequently we are at a critical phase in the pandemic with a hospital occupancy of 102% and 1 in 40 people in the province currently with the virus.
Dr McBride stated that we need to get this virus ‘back in its box’ and to do so we have to use everything we have to throw at it including limiting social interaction.
In the light of that they recommended to us and asked us all that church services go online only, assuring us that if that was agreed it would help bring a significant public health benefit and would undoubtedly reduce infections, hospital admissions and ultimately save lives.
The broad consensus of opinion was that for the greater good and indeed the collective good of all, churches would voluntarily, though with a heavy heart, choose NOT to meet and accordingly only have services on-line during these unprecedented times.
As your pastor and along with the other pastors and oversight we have your physical and spiritual wellbeing at heart. The fact that over the months some of our church family have suffered Covid already weighs heavily upon us and we have no desire to see that worsen and so we too in the interest of everyone’s wellbeing have decided to go online only with immediate effect until the end of the current N. Ireland lockdown. This will be kept under review as we move through this period. I trust you understand this difficult decision and would support us in the decision we have made. We are not alone in doing this. The Elim movement and many other churches are doing the same.
We encourage you to stay connected with the church by logging on to all the live streamed church meetings, especially Sunday morning where we can ‘break bread’ together. Also if you are in need please do not hesitate to ring any of our pastors. If you need us we are there for you. Finally, let me say that you are precious to us, we love you all and remember we are all in this together.
God bless you all. Stay safe and keep the faith and we trust to see you all again soon in person.
Pastor David A. Purse. (Senior pastor).