As a result of Covid-19 church services have been suspended until further notice and the building closed to all organizations.
The Church Office is also closed.
Although the building is closed the Church Community is very much Alive.
Up to date information including recorded Sunday Services, can be found on the website www.stpaulsmilngavie.org.uk
Covid – 19 Update 30 July, 2020
St Paul’s along with other churches, closed on 28 March 2020 because of the global Covid-19 pandemic. The Scottish Government has produced a four-phased approach on how they plan to ease Covid-19 restrictions in Scotland. A copy of this guidance is available from the Scottish Government website (www.gov.scot/news/route-map-formoving-out-of-lockdown). There is legislation in place restricting the use of church buildings and it is the responsibility of the Scottish Government to provide a regulatory framework for when congregations can reopen their church buildings and for what purpose. The guidance document has been produced to help congregations think about how they may be able to reopen their church buildings safely. Some congregations will be able to reopen their church buildings very quickly, whilst for others it might be later in the year, or even 2021 before they can reopen.
The decision to reopen for worship at St Paul’s will be taken by the Interim Moderator and Kirk Session subject to Presbytery approval. The Church of Scotland has produced a guidance document on the reopening of church buildings which is being updated as required.
From 15th July the Scottish Government regulations for places of worship allow churches to reopen for communal worship, subject to ensuring that a risk assessment is completed and that when they open physical distancing and good hand hygiene is observed. The Church of Scotland guidance to congregations (www.churchofscotland.org.uk) is to encourage people who come into our buildings to wear a face covering and everyone will be asked to provide their name and contact details as part of NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect System. At this time singing in worship is not permitted and numbers attending a worship service are limited to a maximum of 50 at any one time, although many churches will only be able to admit fewer individuals safely.
Many of the restrictions that have been in place since March 2020 will be with us throughout the rest of this year and probably into 2021. Physical distancing, hand hygiene, enhanced cleaning and disinfection will have to be embraced into a new way of church life. We also have to consider those vulnerable members of our congregation, and how we can support their needs. Congregations can only reopen their church buildings if they can safely meet the principles outlined in the guidance document. At this stage, no congregation will be required to reopen their church buildings.
It is expected that all Presbyteries will play a role in supporting congregations in the reopening of their church buildings. Presbyteries will ensure that every congregation has completed a reopening of church buildings checklist and a Covid-19 risk assessment which indicates that the congregation can meet the legal requirements expected of a church building open to members of the public.
We in St Paul’s, are very fortunate that Fergus is able to record a service each week and we are grateful to the team who edit and prepare the service for the web-site. This facility is much appreciated by the members who are able to view the services and by many others around the world. The recording of the services will continue for the foreseeable future.
We do not anticipate St Paul’s reopening for worship in the short term however a small team is being formed to examine the regulations and steps that will be required to allow the reopening of our buildings. This is of course subject to any changes in the Scottish Government guidelines.
If you are able please check the web-site for the latest information. If you have any comment or concerns please contact your District Elder, Visitor or myself.
Graham Mill, Session Clerk
St. Paul’s Prayer Meeting – 6 August 2020
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13). ‘To live without hope is to cease to live,’ wrote Fyodor Dostoevsky, the Russian novelist. Trusting in God brings hope, joy and peace into our lives. The origin of hope is ‘the God of hope’. The reason for hope is Jesus and the source of hope in us is the Holy Spirit. This hope is not wishful thinking. It is rooted in what God has done for us and is doing in us, and it is the driving force for our day-to-day living.
The purpose of the Bible is to give us hope. For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope (Romans 15:4). It is through the Scriptures that we know about Jesus and the hope that is in him. The way to keep our hopes up is to study the Bible regularly. This hope leads to ‘all joy and peace’ as we trust in God. May the Holy Spirit enable us to be people who overflow with hope.
Give thanks for
- Our church family at St Paul’s and Baldernock.
- Our homes and our loved ones
- All the on-line services and ministries which we can listen to and watch which encourage and challenge us and continually point us to the Lord Jesus Christ.
- People who had been shielding and are now allowed to go out and meet people after months in Lockdown. Pray that they will not become fearful or over-anxious, but take little steps each day.
- Research into finding a vaccine – World Health Organisation has confirmed that a number of vaccines are now in phase 3 of clinical trials, and it is hoped to have a number of effective vaccines that can help prevent people from infection.
- Keswick Ministries – give thanks for the on line ministry last week, praying that many people will have been blessed, encouraged and challenged by what they saw and heard.
- Routine eye care, breast cancer screening and counselling support groups are among the services resuming as coronavirus restrictions ease.
Please continue to pray for :
- Fergus Ramsay, and Lynsey and all other ministers and church leaders as they preach the Gospel Sunday by Sunday.
- All the Christian Organisations – Preshal, Glasgow City Mission, Lodging House Mission and others who provide practical and spiritual help in Glasgow.
- Babies/Infants/Young People who are involved in various groups within St Paul’s – remembering them and their families at this time.
- BreakAway – and other similar organisations which provided respite for carers who look after loved ones suffering from dementia. These services are much missed by both the members and carers – please remember them during this time of restriction.
- St Paul’s Church Family
- praying for those who have lost a loved one in recent days, that the love of Jesus will surround them at this time.
- praying for safety and wellbeing for those who are only now venturing out and about.
Prayers for our Community and Country
- People who have been caring for a member of their family who has been unwell.
- People who had been furloughed and are now beginning to go back to work.
- People who have been told that their jobs are at risk or been made redundant. Help them cope with the uncertainty.
- Adults with learning difficulties who have been isolated from friends, day-centres & workplaces for months.
- People who have serious medical conditions which require surgery or people whose treatment has been put on hold. Pray that their operations and treatment will restart soon.
- Restrictions during Lockdown have left a lot of people anxious and/or fearful to go out and about even though some restrictions have been lifted. Pray that, whilst being careful, they may be able to venture out and about and overcome these fears in the near future.
- Towns and Businesses – who have required to go back into Lockdown, praying that it will make people realise that they need to be sensible and adhere to social distancing when out and in the company of others.
- Business offices – as they start to reopen again, praying for wisdom and guidance as they seek to find new ways to operate their business and be successful..
Prayers for the peoples of the world :
- Our Christian brothers and sisters in countries where they are being persecuted for their faith.
- Beirut – so much to pray for! The blast, at the port, has left many dead, thousands injured and approx. 300,000 people homeless. Lebanon imports much of what it needs (it imports 90% of its grain – which would have been stored at the port at the time of the explosion). The devastation comes on top of many years of economic and political instability. Pray for the rescue teams as they sift through the rubble looking for survivors; the medical teams as they treat the injured; and for families who have lost loved ones. The people urgently require food, clothing, medicines, and materials to build homes. Pray for a good response to the humanitarian appeal.
- Countries with limited healthcare facilities and where treatments for the virus and other serious serious medical conditions are not available to the needy.
- Australia – Melbourne – with 5 million residents - is shutting shops, factories and other business as authorities seek to halt a second wave of coronavirus. Approx 1 million workers will be staying home.
- Vine Trust, Tear Fund, Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) , Christian Aid – as they seek to bring help and comfort to the most sick and needy
- Countries throughout the world – where the number of Covid-19 cases is rising together with the increased number of families losing loved ones. Pray for all the doctors, nurses and health care workers who, despite being overwhelmed and over-worked, are seeking to bring help and comfort to others.
- The Guild, Breakaway, The Men’s Association, The Lunch Club, Noah’s Ark, The Girl’s Brigade and Sun Kids have cancelled all meetings until further notice.
- Although the Thursday evening Prayer Group will not meet, a prayer guide will be available on line each week.
- Friendship House is closed until further notice.
- Life magazine has been produced and is available on line. Hard copies will be not be distributed.
The Congregational Board & Kirk Session meetings have been cancelled.
Communication is going to be an issue in the next few weeks and months and if you have access, please check the Church web-site for up to date information.
I would ask you to be aware of and follow the latest guidance issued by the Government and the NHS and would encourage anyone who is in a vulnerable group or who is in close contact with someone else who might be vulnerable, and to anyone who feels even slightly ill, to consider staying at home.
The question arises as this situation develops, is how can we maintain our community, our friendships, the joy of meeting and worshipping with others? There are no easy answers and we won’t really know how this is going develop and affect us for some time. Perhaps we could phone someone for a chat and even pray together because it is more important than ever at this time, to stay connected with each other. Remember not everyone is on social media.
We have little experience of situations like this but the Bible records many similar incidents where people struggle with fear and worry, I urge you to put your Trust in the Lord.