At 3:00 p.m. (1500 hours) this afternoon (March 17th 2020), the following statement was issued by the Methodist Church of Great Britain. This mirrors statements made by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to the Church of England and the Baptist Union to their ministers and congregations. The full statement can be read here https://www.methodist.org.uk/about-us/coronavirus-guidance/
It is with sadness that we recommend that worship services in Methodist Churches are suspended for the time being in line with Government guidance. We would encourage people who lead services to think about how worship might be offered in different ways, including online and using worship at home sheets.
During this incredibly difficult time when people might want to spend time in prayer in their Methodist Church, local trustees should consider whether it is possible to open up their churches to enable people to come and pray or sit quietly, perhaps offering prayer stations as a point of reflection with precautions around physical distancing.
Suspending services means that we advise that baptisms will not take place in public worship and if you have a wedding planned in a Methodist Church you should speak to your minister. While funerals may still take place, we would advise that the number of people attending is limited as per the Government's advice.
In terms of Church business, we recommend that all meetings including church councils and circuit meetings should be cancelled. District chairs will be in touch about Synods. The next meeting of the Methodist Council has been suspended and we will advise on how essential business will be carried out. We will be issuing further advice on this.
Therefore, in the Kennet & Test Valley Circuit, with immediate effect:
The situation is clearly changing almost day by day and it is therefore important that everyone keeps themselves up to date with the latest advice.