Executive Committee of the General Assembly Board
Update for churches, ministers, and workers
Friday, the 12th of March 2021

Dear friends,

Following the latest announcement by the First Minister of the Welsh Senedd, we think it is timely to send you a word with regard to the current position within the Connexion. As you may know, most of our churches still do not meet face-to-face, although an increasing number are meeting virtually, and many still broadcast services, conduct services by telephone, or send devotional material to their members.

We thank you for this activity, although recognize that there is a desire among many to return to meeting in our buildings. We do not know the position of most of our members and leaders on the
propriety of considering resuming face-to-face meetings, and there is likely to be a wide diversity of opinion. Many are very concerned about making such a move, and many have already decided that they personally will not see this as a safe course of action until they have received two doses of the vaccine. It is also difficult to gauge how many of our members are now familiar with, and benefit from, virtual services to such an extent that they do wish to rush to return, especially if returning means returning to things as they were before this time . The advice received from the Welsh
Government continues to state – Where practicable and reasonable, face-to-face meetings should be avoided to minimize the risk of transmission of the virus.

Having said all of this, we believe that since our last letter urged our churches not to meet, although there it is legally allowed, we should send word to invite you to consider whether the Easter season offers an opportunity to assemble again. It is our view that ministers and / or elders should allow time for consideration and prayerful discussion, as we approach the main festival of our church calendar. Furthermore, as the Government in Wales anticipates lifting the travel restriction on March 27th, we believe this signals confidence from the Government that there is potential for more to be done as spring approaches. Any reopening will be entirely dependent on agreement between the minister and / or the elders, and requires a thorough risk assessment.

As we have referred to the 27th of March, many of our churches will also wish to consider the propriety of placing posters, or updating posters at cemetery entrances. The information should
emphasize that everyone visiting respects rules about keeping a safe distance if they are there while others are there. It’s Palm Sunday on the 28th, and many will be keen to visit these sites. There is perfect freedom to do so now if the cemetery is ‘local’, and it is likely that if travel is allowed within Wales on the 27th more people will want to visit.

In the bonds of the Gospel,

Parch Brian Huw Jones, Parch Marcus Wyn Robinson & Parch Meirion Morris.